Archive for March, 2009

My lenten fast

March 11, 2009

I’ve read a lot lately about fasting, and the why’s and how’s of it.

This isn’t going to be one of those posts.

This is about what I’m fasting from.

The news.

Ok, truth is, it isn’t a true lenten fast. It just happens to coincide with lent this year. But I’m really tired of all the fear-inducing news stories. So I’m not gonna watch, listen or read about what’s happening in the world for the next few weeks. I think the world will go right on spinning, even if I don’t know what the Dow is doing, or who just killed who, or what celebrity is in rehab.

Been doing it for a little over a week now, and It’s been eye opening. First, it’s almost impossible not to see some news, somewhere. Headlines in google reader, or the crawler at the bottom of the screen as you click past CNN are always catching my eye. Second, most conversations have some current event talk, so you hear a good bit of the major stuff even without electronics. Third, (and this is important) I’m struck by how much I want to know what’s going on, not in my world, but in someone else’s world.  

I went on a short term mission trip several years ago, and I was gone for about 18 days. There were no computers, cell phones, TV’s, newspapers, radios or magazines. So I was ignorant of all the “important” events of the day. There was just the day itself, and what was going on around me. I distinctly remember how it felt when someone told me that Tiger Woods had won the US Open by eleven shots. It was weird. Like it was some other dream-like world I used to know. Like if I were to pay attention to all that stuff going on somewhere else, I’d need to stop paying as much attention to what was going on in front of me. And how refreshing it was not to have to know everything about everything. So I didn’t pay attention to the news the remainder of my time away.

I know that doesn’t make much sense. It didn’t to me either, at the time. But it makes a little more sense to me now.

I was spending too much time living vicariously through those in the news. Still do it to a large degree. 

But, for the next little while, I’m going to try and be a little more present to those stories happening around me. I hope it becomes a step toward living more fully.