|Kolton at my graduation. Isn't he such a cutie?!|
We can never get him to smile for pictures.
My youngest little brother (who is 13 years old), Kolton: “So, Katie?”
Me: “Yeah, Kolty?”
Kolton: “This whole 7 thing that you’re doing. You’re doing it to serve others?”
Me (thinking): Yes! What an awesome opportunity to explain to my younger brother what this is all about!
Me (out loud): “Yeah, Kolty, it is! You know—”
Kolton, cutting me off: “So does that mean when I’m laying on the couch watching TV and I get hungry, you’ll go make me a sandwich?”
Um, let me think about that one real quick… NO. 7 has officially begun, and it does NOT involve me making you or anyone else a SANDWICH while you’re watching television. Get up off your lazy butt and make your own sandwich while employing that handy little “pause” function located on the remote control! Goodness gracious.
Okay so maybe God’s trying to teach me a lesson already—maybe something along the lines of “BE NICE TO YOUR BROTHERS” or something crazy like that. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m working on it, okay?
That being said, month one is a fast from one of the things that we live most excessively in (without really realizing it): media and technology. And yes, Kolton, that means NO TELEVISION. This month will be a fast from excess that includes:
1. No social media—no Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, Pinterest, Wanelo, Etsy (oh my gosh this really is an addiction, isn’t it?!)
2. No television or movies—however, I may watch a couple of movies with my family because that is the primary way that we spend family time together. I’m getting ready to go back to college, okay? I have to spend quality time with my family. Don’t judge me.
3. No internet—except to post on my blog (I’ll share it to Facebook and Twitter via my blog as well) and except for school purposes (I’m imagining that telling my teachers I can’t do my research paper because I’m fasting from the internet won’t go over very well. And I just couldn’t do research in that thing called “the library.” Who does that?)
4. No apps on my iPhone—only what’s essential (like my alarm clock, or else I wouldn’t go to class at all).
5. Very limited texting—only if it would be quicker than calling. No texting just to talk, though.
6. No radio.
7. No having my phone on me at all times. When I’m out my phone will stay in my purse and when I’m at home it will stay in one place at all times.
In all reality, I didn’t think that this month was going to be very hard for me at all. I gave up social media for Lent, and I found that the less I got on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram, the less I WANTED to get on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram.
And during school, I watch TV next to NEVER. No texting? No big deal. I don’t even like texting anyway.
However… I forgot that for half of the month of August I would still be at home instead of in school. And what do I normally do all day every day during the summer (when I’m not babysitting)? Watch TV, get on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram (all at the same time, all on different devices), text, and surf the internet (namely Pinterest) for cute clothes, books, my future home, and ideas for my wedding. I’m a girl, okay?
So maybe this WILL be harder than I thought it was going to be, at least until the 18th when I move back into my dorm at Union (I cannot WAIT!!!). But, I read something today in “The 7 Experiment” Bible Study Guide that really puts this whole fasting thing into perspective—especially because a lot of times we overlook fasting as if it’s unnecessary. Jen Hatmaker writes, “Fasting is an intentional reduction, a deliberate abstinence to summon God’s movement in our lives. A fast creates margin for God to move… A fast is not necessarily something we offer God, but it assists us in offering ourselves.”
I definitely see my need to reduce media and technology in my life, especially because it consumes SO MUCH of my time. And I pray that as I take a breather from these things that in all honesty suffocate me sometimes, God will have space to move in my life and in others’ lives in ways that I never dreamed possible.
“Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of wickedness,
to undo the straps of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover him,
and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?”