How I am going to fast snacking, social media and other fun things

I have been challenged and I am accepting it. I am going to break away from all the distractions in my life and kind of simplify things. At this point in my life, I feel that I am mature enough and wise enough to embark on this exciting journey of fasting. And I believe that through this journey, I will actually be stronger physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally. Also, it’s going to be nice to be in control.

So how did this start? The concept of fasting is to put away things that either are hindrances or unhealthy from life. With that away, then the energy and time that is gained with the elimination can be used to focus on more important things. My church is going through a fasting period of 21 days and during that fasting period, we are encouraged to focus on prayer. Without the noise and distraction, we have opened up a much more clear communication with God and ultimately, realize how often God is speaking to us. No noise. No distraction. God’s speaking to us and we can hear it clearly.

This is a welcomed challenge for me. I had never fully invested into something like this ever before in my life. It usually is tough because the two things I have the biggest passion about are food and social media. I can’t really fast eating food and it is so hard to limit certain things. I even once tried to see how long I could go without eating meat once. I only lasted six days. But for the 21 days, I have decided that I can at least modify it somewhat so there is some aspect of eating that I can fast. So I have decided to fast from snacking. I tend to snack a lot in between meals. It’s a bad habit and it is especially tough when I am at work and chips, candy bars, string cheese, are just there for the taking. I will not eat any of that in between meals. The only things I will eat are breakfast, lunch and dinner. And even with those meals, I am trying to stay away from all the extra stuff like desserts, second helpings or anything that really doesn’t improve a very unhealthy lifestyle. It doesn’t sound too complicated, but it’s baby steps. Plus, I can save some money from all the extra nonsense I tend to eat.

During the fasting period, this will force (in a good way) me to depend more on prayer. The goal of the fast is to relinquish our own perception of our own strength and willpower and turn to God for strength. I’m excited for this because my relationship with God was built on me being rock bottom and turning to Him. This is going to be the same situation with me now going through some downs and me turning to God. I’ve already tried to figure out my daily routine now knowing that I will be in some situations where I may need that boost. My prayer time will increase now that I will do a morning conference call prayer time at 6AM. And also throughout the day, a lot of my time will be spent praying, reading, writing my thoughts throughout the 21 days. There is a journal I will write notes in and I plan to blog every single day during the fast so I can share my journey with you.

But that’s not all. Additionally to this snack fast, I am joining in this five-week study session. In the session, I will get a chance to dive deeper into the word and grow closer to Jesus. It will be a big learning experience for me and to actually add more to my foundation. The weekly meetings are going to be about 2.5 hours and it will involve watching sermon videos, discussions and just a good amount of time in prayer. Additionally, there are “homework” assignments every week. Well, it’s kind of more like a building block where I will listen to sermons throughout the week and along with reflection, prayer, writing, should total to 10 hours of my time per week.

In order to really be focused and successful in this, I have to cut away my distractions. Food is one thing that is a distraction but it isn’t a major one. The second biggest distraction for me is when I am online and surfing places like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, forums, YouTube and everything else. So during this five-week period, that stuff is gone. (If you need to get in contact with me during that time, text or email me. If you don’t have either, better get that info from me.) Oh, and this media fasting includes TV shows and my daily jamming to Spotify and radio. Yeah, that’s actually going to be way tougher for me than dropping social media. (I can watch and listen to Christian related stuff, but I rarely do that to begin with. I guess I gotta pick it up then.)

This actually is something I look forward to. It’s challenging and the fun will be taken out, but I think doing this is going to be equally fun. As much as I enjoy social media and how it is integrated in my profession, I have been longing for the day when I don’t have to worry about it anymore. I have dreamed of days where I can just drop everything, go camping for a month, and not have to worry about retweets and friends posting stupid videos online. Many times, I just don’t care about what you’re sharing.

But hey, wait a minute! Don’t I have to use media since I work in media? Yes, yes I do. Work-related stuff will be the only time I will be using media. Yeah, it’s an unfortunate stipulation to this situation. I can’t do my job unless I am fully in-tune with media so work is the only time where I can still go on Twitter and get my information. I still will have my Facebook deactivated so there’s that. I am trying to limit as much as I can. Having a taste of media and then cutting it off right after work is much harder than a complete cold turkey drop of it.

(The only time I will be on Facebook is to post things onto my professional page and to post things onto the church’s Facebook, which I both operate. None of my time there will be spent browsing.)

So for 21 days, I am limiting my eating habits. For five weeks, I am cutting off pretty much all sorts of media (except when at work). This is all in an effort to cut off unnecessary distractions and get my focus on God. That’s what fasting is all about. I know it won’t be easy, but that comes with the territory. That’s why my dependency and trust in God will be ever more so vital in getting this accomplished.

But during this time, you can still keep up with my progress as I will be sharing my updates on my blog under the “21-day fast” category. To access the blog’s main page, use this link: http://wp.me/ZZMG

In the meantime, there will be a few things that I will be doing instead of wasting my time watching YouTube videos or mindlessly reading a million tweets a day. I will be reading more (which is a good thing. I love to read). Additionally, if I plan this out right, I will be writing a lot more. I am a creative writer and with all this free time, I think I have one more big story I have coming up.

What I need from you guys, if you want to support me, is to support me. I need encouragement. I need prayer. I need people checking in on me. I need as much of anything that will remind me that I can do it. It’s not as hard as it seems and for me, I know I have better self-control than most people. But I will run into road blocks and there will be times where I need the encouragement and motivation.

My goal is to break the shackles of my own creation and desires of mindless time-wasting and really focus my time and energy into something good. And for me, that something good is more time with God. That is what’s most important to me. And trust me, there is more relief and excitement on my end as I approach this journey. It officially starts Sunday, so get your last bits of contact info from me before I disappear off the face of the world-wide web for five weeks.

Thank you and God bless.

Sam

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