Every year in January, our church (along with churches all over the country) takes part in 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting. It certainly isn’t something that everyone has to participate in, but everyone is encouraged to find something to fast.
We do this in January because it is a way to begin the year on a right note–giving God our “first”, and believing that He will bless the rest of our year. Much like the concept of tithing. Also 21 days is the amount of time it takes to form a habit, so hopefully the choices we make now will continue throughout the new year.
While food is something that is traditionally fasted, it certainly isn’t the only option available. Personally, I never choose food (although one year I included Oreos in my fast, along with TV). If you knew my eating habits, you would know that fasting might not be that much of a sacrifice for me. Also, considering that I would have to continue to make all regular meals for the boys, fasting food would be rather tricky.
I try to choose something during the fast that I can replace with a more desireable habit. Last year I decided to give up Facebook and listening to NPR in the car. Instead, for 21 days, I only listened to praise and worship music. I found that it definitely had a positive affect on my attitude.
This year I am giving up Facebook again. It has turned into such a time suck for me, and is just a go-to place when I have a couple of minutes to spare. But what is the point of giving up Facebook, if I just use that time to read more blogs, and waste more time online? I removed it from my “Favorites” tab today, but I replaced it. So now after I put the boys down for a nap, instead of falling into the wasteful abyss of Facebook, I will click here for a daily devotional, along with a daily One Year Bible reading. The One Year Bible provides reading from the Old and New Testament, along with Psalms and Proverbs, and I can read it all online in any translation that I choose (my preference is the New Living Translation). I also click here for a daily prayer guide that provides a prayer focus for each of the 21 days. Then throughout the day when I have a few minutes and I would normally head over to Facebook, instead I spend some time in prayer.
So far, I’m not really missing Facebook that much (except for when I think of a funny status update that I don’t get to post), and I am feeling better about the way my time is spent. I will be back to Facebook, I know I will–I use it to keep in touch with so many people, but hopefully I will become more used to limiting my time there after these 3 weeks, and more importantly, more used to making time with God a priority in my life.