Once a month, members of my church go without food for 24 hours and donate the money we would have spent on food to charity. But this month we've been asked to try an additional, new kind of Fast.
In preparation for an upcoming church conference, we have been asked to go for a week without using electronics and other media, including telephones, TVs, computers, radios, magazines, and newspapers. The time we would have spent thus engaged is to be used for a better purpose, serving others, playing together as a family, and focusing on our spiritual preparation for the conference. The only exception, of course, would be if our jobs truly require the use of these things. Even then, use is to be kept to a minimum as much as possible.
I am all for this. I am a Luddite at heart anyway, and I have seen my children all too easily get sucked into their computers, to surface only at meal times, looking pale and dazed as they crawl into the light... So of course I assumed I would get some resistance when I told my 14-year-old son about the media fast.
His reply? "I can do that." Simple as that. We discussed the alternatives to video games and You Tube and came up with other activities we can do together. He remarked that it would have been easier to do in the summer, when there are more options (true), but he's still willing to give it a whirl. There aren't many teenagers, I'm guessing, who would face a week without Facebook without flinching. What a kid!
So next week, beginning March 4, you won't find me on Facebook or here on my blog or even - gulp - curled up on my couch with a book (I figured if he can give up his computer addiction, it's only fair I give up my book addiction). Never fear, I'll be back after the week is up. Perhaps a bit wiser, a bit calmer, a bit more in tune with my family. See you then!