Slowing down. I’m going to fast.

Over the next few weeks, you won’t see much from me online.

One of the keys to Hands and Feet Marketing is the push and the reminder to seek God. So that’s what I’m going to do the next several weeks.

Our pastor at First Baptist Church of Temple, Texas, has asked the congregation to enter into a 40-day fast to seek and experience God.

I’ve never really fasted before, so I’ve been concerned about how to approach these 40 days. I’ve been weighing different options, different things to step away from or minimize in my life so I can spend more time in prayer, more time in the Word, and more time being a better steward of the gifts God has allowed me to have.

Food is an obvious starting point. That’s something I’ve struggled with my entire life, so that’s certainly part of this experience. (It’s currently my lunch hour and I have a cup of hot apple juice on my desk right now — instead of whatever awesomeness they’re serving in the cafe just one floor below).

But when I think seriously about the things that pull me away from God, I see “being online” as a huge obstacle.

How does this play out in my life?

  • When there’s a lull or break in the day, I’m checking Facebook or Twitter.
  • When I could be having a conversation with my wife, I’m playing a game on the iPad.
  • I tell my kids to get outside and enjoy a sunny day, yet I’m checking my phone for updates.
  • I try to share key passages from God’s Word in 140 characters or less.
  • I begin to think in terms of “status updates” or say things like, “That would make a great status.”
  • My kids have started to say, “Please don’t put that on Facebook.”
  • I play Words with Friends instead of calling and talking to my friends.
  • I obsess about analytics, wondering if you’re reading the things I write — and if you are reading, fretting about why you’re not responding.
  • I begin to gauge my self worth — and question this thing I felt God calling me to do — by the number of likes, comments, clicks and unique viewers who visit the site and follow us on Facebook.

Is being online evil?

No.

But, for me, it is very consuming.

So, over the next 40 days I intend to break away from unnecessary time “online” and spend that time experiencing ¬†God in prayer and practicing better stewardship of the gifts with which God has blessed me — my family, my work, and my friends.

I do have one caveat, however. Our son, Michael, has been preparing to engage in a project that we are all very excited about. If that progresses, we will certainly be online supporting him.

Blessings to you all.

Eric

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