Day 4 - January 30th - Jeff

I am a creature of habit. I don’t mind new places, new adventures, and new experiences, but I want those things to fit around the schedule of things I do every day. There are those things you are supposed to do every day as a human: get out of bed, eat food, drink coffee, brush your teeth, shower, go to work, be nice, drink more coffee, eat some more, spend time with friends and family, go to bed. But then there are things that are unique to specific individuals. Some of us can’t survive without coffee, others are naturally energetic(I can go either way). I probably brush my teeth more than others, but I’m only flossing on dentist day(he knows). I am often unaware of my habits, I guess that’s what makes them habits. But in this season of disruption of my regular life so that I can be lead a more focused life with God, I have decided to give up something during my week that I didn’t think would be such a big deal, but it turns out is bigger than I thought. I’m also giving up some meals(more on that in later blogs), but for this month I told myself that I won’t get on Facebook during the week.

I still want to get on Facebook on Sundays to check-in at New Garden so we can help meet needs in our world(this month every two check-ins feeds a child through FeedOne), but other than that I wants to go sans FB. Saying it out loud doesn’t sound like it’s that big of a deal, but I am on day four and I have figured out that FB is a habit in my life. I do find FB helpful in many ways. I am a part of some ministry groups where I get to bounce ideas off other people. I often get a good laugh from a few people who post things I find funny. I usually have to scroll quickly by a few people who seem to be posting only to find a fight. But all in all, I wouldn’t classify FB as good or evil. It’s just there. And it’s always there. And I seem to check what’s going on in people’s FB world more often than I check with people in the real world.

When I began my FB fast on Sunday I decided to remove and replace the app on my phone with something else. Normally I swipe my task bar to the left, and FB is right there to be clicked for quick access. I am embarrassed to admit that a handful of times I have mindlessly opened my phone, swiped, and clicked without giving it any real thought. While I am waiting in line, while I am walking up the stairs, during a commercial break, it seems like during any down time in my life, I go to FB to fill it. Ugh! The shame of that sentence as I type it. I am sure if science could create a device that we could trade all the time and memories we have invested in one thing and receive new memories, with the time I have accumulated on FB I could trade for knowing a new language…probably multiple languages, I could have memorized the Bible…probably in multiple translations, I could have learn Hebrew and Greek and memorized scripture in the original languages!!! But instead of having my mind filled with the word of God, I have memes and comment threads and fail videos and pictures of other people’s food and a host of other meaningless things clogging up my hippocampus.

So I hope this month awakens me to two things: the amount of time I waste in the meaninglessness of the world wide web so I can trade that for useful time with the Father AND that I would turn my mind to prayer during the downtimes of my life and that I would be filled by my connection with the Creator.

Jeff Palk