I'm writing this post on my phone so please excuse any formatting issues or errors in grammar.
My apartment complex decided to switch Internet providers without really telling anybody. So while I wait until Friday for the Charter guy to show up, I'm on something of a forced Internet fast.
Internet fasting is becoming the new way to tell other (I just typed "otter" instead of "other") Christians that you're taking seriously the call to be in the world but not of the world. It used to be enough to cancel the cable and live without TV, but everyone is doing that because of Dave Ramsey.
Canceling the cable is like that band you liked when they were independent and underground, but lost interest when they started gaining popularity. So just like being a fan of The Arcade Fire is no longer cool, canceling your cable no longer makes you a hardcore disciple. That's where the Internet fast comes in.
What's more hardcore disciple than an Internet fast. Sure, cancel the cable, but everyone knows you're still ingesting worldliness through Hulu. An internet fast, though, cuts out so many (I put in "manu" and it wanted to change it to "Manu"; my phone must be a Spurs fan) of the trappings of this world.
No more Facebook.
No more Twitter.
No more shopping online.
No more illegally downloading the band that has replaced The Arcade Fire.
No more streaming Netflix to your Wii.
No more watching videos of puppies playing and kittens cuddling.
An Internet fast cuts us off from all of those things and are souls are the better for it. Instead of wallowing in the worldliness of websites and social networking, we can get to the serious business of true discipleship.
Unfortunately, I don't really feel like my soul has gotten any better. It's probably gotten a little worse because of all the mean thoughts I've been having about my apartment complex for switching Internet providers. I suppose that may be the point.
I have been so upset over the loss of the Internet at my apartment that it's blinded me to all of the other blessings God has given me. And not just the blessings over the course of my life, but the blessings he's given me today.
I had breakfast with a good friend.
I received a paycheck from my really awesome part-time job.
I had lunch with one of my oldest friends.
I got to plan preaching series for our church with an amazing team.
I had coffee with another good friend.
I came home and had dinner with my amazing wife.
I got to watch Modern Family.
That's a pretty awesome, blessed day which, until this point, I was unable to see because I didn't have the stupid Internet at my apartment.
I really thought I'd just make some jokes about Internet fasters and move on with my night. I didn't realize that God would teach me a lesson about gratitude while sitting on my couch typing with my iPhone.
That being said, taking a break (I just freaked out because my phone froze and I thought I lost this whole post) from the Internet every once in a while isn't a bad thing. But we can't be like the Pharisees who went around looking terrible, making sure everyone knew they were fasting. If we choose to fast from the Internet, it should be between us and God so we can draw nearer to him; we don't need to let anyone else know.
So take a break from the Internet but don't do it to prove how hardcore of a disciple you are. Do it because you want to shake up your routine and provide a little margin for God in your life.
This Internet fast was forced upon me and God used it to create some margin in my life so he could teach me a lesson about gratitude. Maybe you'll be more willing to create that margin yourself and invite God to work in your life.
How does fasting from technology create margin in your life?