what if you walked away for awhile.

IMG_2474I’m reading a book called If: Trading Your If Only Regrets for God’s What If Possibilities.  It’s by Mark Batterson. I got it free as part of a promotional team. I’m reading it more deliberately than a good promoter should.

At the end of each chapter, there is a “what if.” In Chapter 5, Mark talks about fasting. And at the end of the chapter, he asks, “What if you tried a food fast, media fast, or complaining fast for ten, twenty-one, or forty days?”

It’s a good question. Fasting lets us practice saying no to ourselves. It helps us find the edges of our commitments, that line where faithfulness stops being fun and starts being, well, faithful. Fasting helps us clarify the imagined and real cravings of our hearts.

So I’ve been staying away from Facebook and Twitter this week. Especially the visits that start with a momentary check-in and end with a half hour dalliance. It’s been a daily choice. It’s been renewed each morning in my conversations with God when I ask, “would you help me be more clear?”

I’ve been finding some clarity. I’ve been able to write a week’s worth of posts with more speed and reflection than usual, and to sustain my thinking while writing. I’ve been able to cruise to 10,000 feet in some planning, realizing that it takes time to reach altitude, more time than I find when I keep landing on videos about the thing that I would never believe happened.

I’m not sure I’m fasting unto the Lord, as Mark describes it. Focusing past the fast to the one I am seeking. But I’m intrigued by the results.

And I hope you forgive me for ignoring your video. I give you permission to ignore mine.

Especally if the fasting clears a table for conversation with God.

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I’m running my first official half marathon tomorrow. If you want, you can track me.

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About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of 300wordsaday.com. I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.