Fasting from Screen Time
Christian Fasting is typically thought of as abstaining from eating. Perhaps it is just one meal or perhaps it is abstaining from food from sun down to sun down. Either way, that has been the most common form over the centuries. It has been recently proposed that a more modern form of fasting should include Fasting from Screen Time.
Fasting in previous time periods typically included food for two reasons. First, it is something that is something that your body reminds you of. Since you are hungry it reminds you to pray and gives you a physical feeling of sacrifice. Secondly, eating, prior to the age of McDonalds and microwaves, was a very time consuming activity. Food had to be grown, harvested, processed, and cooked. There was no Walmart with shelves that magically refill themselves every night while you sleep. We get frustrated if they run out of something, when it wasn’t too many years ago where access to food was much more limited since we did not have a global economy like we do now. For instance, you can buy Bananas as the grocery store in January. Countries, not to mention communities, do not primarily produce their own food any longer. Food is imported from all over the country or world.
For the modern American, we tend to spend more of our time on “screens.” Any free moment of down time or detachment time is spent on a screen of some sort. We even do this because we are too bored to find something else to do. There are many studies I can reference to the negative effects of too much screen time, but the focus of this post is to set it aside for more time with God.
Free up your time to meet with God. Take a day, or maybe 3, and don’t pick of the smart phone, tablet, computer, or TV for anything that is not essential to that day. Ex: work, your boss would be upset if you decided not to use your computer that day. We must slow down and exclude things from our life to allow time with God Almighty. We need to prioritize it! That should mean fasting on occasion.
Any time of fasting is benefitial if it requries sacrifice and allows more time to refocus on God. Take that extra hour, 2 hours, or 3 hours you find yourself with and sit down and…Pray…read God’s Word. You may find it difficult at first as we tend to have such a short attention span. I guarantee that if you fast for just 1 week from screen time and devote that time to prayer and Bible study not only will you grow in your walk with Christ but you will find you actually can sit down and pray for 20mins…or even 2 hours if you just eliminate the distractions.