An Internet Fast.

No, I’m not talking about making your internet experience faster, I’m talking about internet fasting, no internet for 7 days.

Exactly one week ago I put a vacation message on my email auto-responder, shut off my computer and drove away. I made the conscious decision that for one week I would not read email, blogs, write a blog, or an any way use the internet.

Why? Good question. My simple answer is My life needed a reboot. I wanted a technical cleansing. The idea was to flush my mind of gmail, Facebook, Twitter, blogging, and my real estate website. So I did it. I shut it off and drove to Texas.

I enjoyed the company of old friends over good food, remarkable sunsets, and catching a few fish. When my friend offered “Do you need to check your email?” my reply was simply “No“. I didn’t elaborate. And when told “You can use the computer anytime you want” I replied with only “Thanks“.

I found wonderful satisfaction in simple conversation. Talking about old times, fishing experiences, receipts, grand kids, life and the joys and sorrows of living. The hours passed at a slower pace it seemed. I stood in awe one early morning staring at brilliant stars hanging low against the blackness of the night sky, felling the cool wind tease the goose bumps on my arms and legs while listening to the steady cadence of gentle waves splash against the shore. I was keenly aware of God’s presence and pervasiveness in the glory of His creation.

I found time to admire cattle munching on green grass in the Red River Valley, admired some rusty antique trucks now resting from their labor at the entrance of a farm yard, and photographed an old Methodist church where services are now only two or three times a month. I wondered about the scores of people who had worshiped there, were married there, were memorialized there, and were introduced to God there.

Only a few short miles East is was Interstate 35 and the third largest casino in the world. People going fast and living faster, many never finding the secret of living at peace. I mean the kind that is present and up front when your head hits the pillow and you know that you know that you are at peace with man and God.

I had wonderful fellowship with my wife’s family, both the Cheek’s and the Samsill’s, and appreciated the happy faces of children, parents, and grand parents. We ate good food, laughed, and cheered the Dallas Cowboys to a win. I admire the legacy of generations of lives well lived.

I took my wife to a movie (The Blind Side), we shopped, we drove along holding hands, we laughed and enjoyed being one. I napped while watching food themed shows on the Travel Channel and I enjoyed being me. And, I really, really enjoyed being internet free for a week.

I have promised myself that from now on I will use the internet and all that entails, I will not let it use me. There’s a life to be lived in the other room, outside, down the road, in the woods, on a lake, or in the pages of a good book.

When I worshiped God this morning I felt more alive, cleaner, and my inner man had new crispness that I want more of.

What is the moral of this story? I’ll let you decide that one.





Obey God by doing nothing.

Black Bayou Lake Path

When God made man he made him in his own image. There are many ideas about exactly what that means. We know from the biblical record that God created stuff for 6 days and on the seventh day he rested. Then, after some time God gave man some instructions telling him how to live. Lo and behold, he told man to rest on the seventh day! Yep, just like God.

“Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the LORD” (Exodus 31:15a)

“It is a sign forever between me and the people of Israel that in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.” (Exodus 31:17)

God wants his people to rest just as he did. He said it is a sign “forever“. He was pretty serious about this Sabbath thing. There was even a penalty for not observing the Sabbath, it was the death penalty!

You shall keep the Sabbath, because it is holy for you. Everyone who profanes it shall be put to death.” (Exodus 31:14)

God in his infinite wisdom declared that man should rest every seventh day to show that he was set apart for God. This day of rest (Sabbath) was a covenant between God and man and God said rest and he meant it.

But you say “I just have so much to do”, “My competition is open seven days”, you get the picture don’t you? Will we honor God or not? It is that simple. God thinks his creature, man, should take a day off every seventh day. Who am I to argue with God? If I choose to take a day a week to just rest, play with the kids, read a good book, or take a long nap, and by doing so honor God, don’t you suppose he can make the money work out?

So, I’m officially off 52 days a year. I’m taking a nap on the back porch on my day off and my neighbor stops by. “What are you doing sleeping in the middle of the day?” I answer, “Oh, I’m just honoring and obeying God”. “I’m just following instructions”.

I’m sure rest is very underrated. Many times each week I hear people say, or read, “I’m so tired” or “I am just worn out”. Have you been honoring God by doing nothing? If not you should.

Yes, I know I’m not an Israelite and I’m not living under the Mosaic Law but I also know the principal still applies. People need rest. We need “down time” as we put it today. The old thinker needs a reboot once a week.

Just to make sure I think I’ll just relax about twelve weeks next year. I’ll use some of that time worshiping so I’ve got to make up for that too. So I’m in a hurry to do nothing.

If you know better than God what’s good for you, then by all means work seven days a week and see how it goes. Some of you have been doing that, how’s it working out for you? Do you honor God more by doing what he says or ignoring what he says? Hey, its your life, I can’t decide for you.

I do believe you can be a better pastor, and you can be a better mom, and you can be a more efficient worker if you honor the God who made you. Think about trying God’s way.