The Silly Practice of Fasting from Facebook…

In the life of Christian discipleship, we are formed less by grand spiritual gestures—such as the occasional three-week silent starvation-fast retreat—and more by the small choices we make daily to embrace the contours of the Jesus-patterned life.
 
So maybe forsaking chocolate for forty days won’t change the world.  It can, though, change me.  It can change you.  Each time we sacrifice in order to identify with Christ, or move in synch with Jesus into the world even though we feel entirely incompetent doing it, or when we embrace a holy practice for the sake of the kingdom, we are transformed a teeny bit more into his likeness.

I didn’t write anything yesterday…I have something brewing in my mind, but it has not come together yet, so I’m waiting. In the meantime, I found  some more gems of articles about Lent. It is somewhat staggering how many articles are out there. The nuber of us writing about our journeys. The number of people writing, period…that is rather staggering.

The quotation above is from Margot Starbuck and the rest of her article is worth reading. I like the little bit above though. I know that it sounds silly to friends who are not Christians that we are giving up FaceBook or chocolate or soda for Lent. Maybe it is a little bit silly.  Especially when we look at what Lent is about…what we are to be contemplating during these forty days.

Jesus being taken into the desert to be tempted.

Now Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wild. For forty wilderness days and nights he was tested by the Devil.  (Luke 4:1 from The Message)

He was full of the Holy Spirit.  He didn’t give up soda. He didn’t give up chocolate. He didn’t give up luxuries or frivolity. He did not play at this.

He was led by the same Spirit that filled Him into the wild. To face temptations and to be tested.  This was not a game.  This time in the desert that the Church has through the years come to think on in this time leading up to Holy Week, this spiritual sobriety, leads us to be prepared to remember Good Friday.  We are preparing our hearts, not playing at fasting.

I have to be honest, looking full-on at Jesus as He is tempted and ultimately as He comes to the Cross, is difficult. It is easier to think about how spiritual it is to give up Facebook or chocolate.  It is humbling to think on all of this because it involves me.

We’ve all thought about Jesus thinking of us on the Cross. We’ve been encouraged to do so. It’s true, though. That’s what we believe.  He knew.

He knew me. He knows me.

This is not frivolous.  Even if it is simple and we giggle some, maybe we are able to take offer this simple act of sacrifice so that we can encounter the Living God. It can be slightly frightening. Encountering the Living God.

We have more time. Lent is still settling into our souls. The simple things we have set in place to train ourselves to think on Him…they are settling in. Maybe we’ve faltered a little and wondered if it was silly to attempt this. It’s not. It’s serious business…contemplating the temptations of Jesus and the journey to the Cross (ahhh…..but, Easter.).

Whatever it is that you felt led to give up…stick with it, even if it is little or seems silly. Has it made you think more about Jesus? Has it caused you to pause. Have you filled the absence with a space for the Spirit to lead you? There’s still time….preparing our hearts for Holy Week. Making space this season to encounter the Living God.

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7 thoughts on “The Silly Practice of Fasting from Facebook…

  1. erunner says:

    I gave up a game for Lent. Now that sounds silly!! But the fact is it’s not the simplest thing to do especially with a personality like mine.

    I am thinking much about Jesus and what He experienced at the hands of His creation for His creation. The battle I fight is I don’t get emotional too often and the fact of the matter is I would love to. I want to cry as I contemplate the passion of our Lord. As I’m not wired that way there’s much condemnation I face questioning my sincerity.

    How I desire to have His love rush over and through me in waves but I am learning to be content without this and other ‘signs.’ Keith Green sang how he wanted to be more like Jesus. With God’s help may we all come through Lent a bit more like Him.

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  2. sarahkwolfe says:

    I relate, E, to wanting to be emotional and yet not having that emotional response….and yet also not wanting to simply ‘work up’ an emotional response.

    Praying for you this morning…that God will meet you in the way you desire this season. I know that I have guarded my expectations of this season, and maybe that is not good…maybe we should have large expectations. I think that I lay most of my desire in experiencing Easter differently this year for having taken the time to prepare…

    Keep posting as we go along, I’d like to hear what you think of having participated in a Lent fast after we get to Easter.

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  3. Victoria says:

    I have given up checking my blog stats. Now THAT may REALLY sound silly, but for someone who struggles with seeking approval and affirmation from others to the point of idolatry, it is life-changing. My soul’s desire is to find my worth in Christ alone, and sometimes that means uncovering the hidden places I turn to to find my worth outside of Christ – like blog stats.

    I gave up Facebook during this season last year, and my relationship to it has never been the same. It’s been healthier and more balanced.

    Let’s hear it for the people willing to be silly in order to be changed!

    I’m loving your posts Sarah!

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  4. sarahkwolfe says:

    Thanks, Vic!

    I completely understand seeking approval….and not checking blog stats would be a good thing to give up. Praying for you during the season that God works in your understanding of yourself. Read the post on Lent and Love….He delights in us. In you.

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  5. Peggy says:

    I started thinking after I read this, and I am starting late, but i decided to give up being cynical and “too cool”. I have a tendency to be skeptical and a little jaded against those Christians who are tha mainstay of most churches. I think that I am a little too cool to be as “sold out” and obvious as them. And I am very sensitive to not looking fake and I tend to think less of those who I think are hypocritical. In this I reveal my pride and my weakness. So I am trying to be more humble an open myself up to other ways of thinking and being, without losing myself.
    So, thanks for the nudge in the right direction.
    peggy

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    • sarahkwolfe says:

      I don’t think it’s ever too late to start. Hope that you are finding a way to give up being cynical. It’s really difficult to change our thinking…and sometimes giving up a physical thing sparks the mental. i’ve read this week about lots of folks giving up more mental things…like worry or busyness (mental). That’s the heart of what this is all about…

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  6. Mts says:

    Fakebook is nothing but a bunch of narcissism and getting into others business. It’s really nonsense in my opinion. But that’s what it is, just my opinion. However, I must say to fast from it thinking one is doing God a favour is foolishness. A biblical fast involves going without food, not some garbage we don’t need anyway!!!! Eating a few cheeseburgers all while turning away from glorifying oneself on Fakebook, because that seems to be its only purpose. Oh, I’ll fast from lifting myself up today by talking about me me me and what I’ve accomplished and posting 20 more pictures of me me me that I took in the car at the red light. Thats got to be the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard! If that causes God to move in a miraculous way, I’d sure love to hear about it.

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