Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Facebook Fast

The questions stared up at me from the printed page on my lap. I squirmed in discomfort as I pondered what was being asked. Squirming inside, because the questions struck a nerve. And I knew immediately what the answer was.

Hello, My name is Robyn and I'm a facebook-aholic. It's been 3 days, 2 hours and 18 minutes since my last facebook check in...

Sunday Morning. Sitting in church. Program insert with sermon notes on my lap. Pen poised, I scan the page. At the end of the notes are the questions; Life Application Questions to be exact. The first one leaps up at me, and it doesn't just threaten to bite me, it BITES ME.
1. Identify three areas of your life that take up your time; what are they and what practical changes can you make this week to focus more of your energy on the One Who Is Worthy? 

I started using Facebook back in 2007 and at first it was just an occasional visit. Checking in to see what my friends were up to, maybe post a little status update of my own. It was harmless and fun and a great way to stay connected without overcommitting myself. Everyone was doing it.

Without any hesitation I could easily identify three things that occupied a great deal of my time each day and it wasn't Jesus. Yes, I read from my bible most every day and have some cool stuff, like the bible app on my phone and email devotionals. Just recently my husband and I have started doing our morning bible reading together and then praying together before he leaves for work. I listen almost exclusively to praise music in the car and when I'm at home. I try to say a prayer each time I hear a siren screaming down the highway and I try to offer an encouraging word when I read a distressing post on facebook.... I always feels like Jesus is right there with me.I believe He's walking with me every day.... So really, if Jesus is the air I breathe, like the song says, aren't I always proclaiming He is Worthy?

I've tried justifying my time on Facebook, saying I'm using it as a tool for witnessing and being an encourager. I list prayer requests and I honor prayer requests. I see a need and I step in to help where I can. An occasional game of Scrabble or Words With Friends is harmless too right? It's not like I am doing that hard stuff like Farmville or Crushing Candy. Shoot, I don't even POKE, for crying out loud! ...... OK, OK, so I Bitstrip!! But I made at least one of those cartoons into a Warrior for God witnessing tool!!

Let's be fair. Facebook isn't really evil. It does serve a purpose and it's a good one. It keeps us connected and informed and even entertained.  It allows me to stay connected with my kids and grandkids who live on the other side of the county. None of those things are bad or wrong -- no, on the contrary, they are fabulous and fun and good! But, like all things, it's to be done in MODERATION.  And that is where I was falling down.

Jesus replied: "I am the bread of life, whoever comes to be will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty." John 6.35.  I know that Jesus alone can satisfy the hunger inside of us. But I was using other things to fill me up. Instagram, Twitter, Email, even Blogging was a good portion of my day. But, Facebook was the biggest one.

When I got my smartphone and could install all these cool apps I thought it was pretty sweet. Like I said, I had a bible app-- actually TWO bible apps, and being able to take and post a picture right from my phone was really quite awesome! But, it wasn't long before I was checking my phone every minute that I wasn't doing something else. Then it was checking my phone INSTEAD OF doing something else. It wasn't long before I realized I was addicted.

Something inside of me was empty and I was using social media to try and fill it.

From my Sunday sermon notes: Life is full of counterfeit imitations that promise to fulfill. Our only hope is a fierce hunger for the only ONE who can give us what we need. 

Our pastor reminded us of the people of Moses' time, and the 40 years they wandered in the desert. God gave them a miracle every single day.  He gave them manna to sustain them. But He didn't dole out a week's worth every Sabbath. He supplied it fresh, each day. Just enough for that day.

God is still in the manna supply business. Daily. Just enough for today, because that's all we need. Coming to church on Sunday for a fill up is great but it's not enough. God wants daily connection with us. With me. And I need it so much more than I am sometimes willing to admit.

Another probing question on my sermon notes was this: 'AM I ENOUGH FOR YOU ________?" (The 'fill in the blank' presumably for me to insert my name, as in Jesus asking me "Am I enough for you, Robyn?")
I really want to be able to say that yes, He is.

I realize that Facebook may not be an issue for other people but it was/has certainly gotten in the way of other things for me. As I drove home from church I knew that some changes were in order. I  often have said "God's Book before Facebook" but I sometimes broke that rule, and I knew setting a time limit wasn't going to work for me. I needed something serious. Something severe. Something drastic. I needed to take a Facebook Fast. No Facebook for a set period of time so I could re-prioritize my time. I decided to LOG OFF my Facebook account that very day.

This hasn't proved easy for me. My fingers itched to hit the facebook icon on my phone, so I deleted the icon for now. The burning desire to check in and see what's happening shows me that this break is much needed. But during the first two days I twittered more than I have in months and when I instagram, I hesitate-- do I share this on Facebook or not? Would that be considered cheating? But, I realized that in taking this break, I get to make the rules and it's not about how long I stay away from Facebook or even, really, about staying away in the first place. It's about recognizing Priorities. It's about the condition of my heart. It's about how I go about meeting my needs. Like eating or shopping or gambling or drinking to numb the pain or fill a void, when really, it wont.  Where do I go FIRST when I feel lost .... or lonely... or hurting... or sad... or confused... or bored??? I want with all my heart to be able to honestly say, I go to The One Who Is Worthy. The One who gives Daily Bread so I will never be hungry again.

Hello, my name is Robyn and I am in recovery. 

1 comment:

  1. You are not alone. It's like you said, its all about priorities. This is an area I need to work on as well.


thank you so much for taking time to read and comment! have a great day!