Technology fast. The moment those words left the professor’s mouth we knew we were in trouble. Did she really expect us to not use any technology for 24 hours? In this day and age? No cell phone, iPod, or computer. No Facebook or Twitter. Nothing.
I was convinced it would be easy, but I surprised myself. I’d already fasted from food two days earlier and thought technology would be just as easy. It wasn’t. I prepared well: put my laptop in its case and in a drawer, along with my iPod and cell phone. I was ready, or so I thought.
My first attempt: fail. There was that episode of my favorite show that I hadn’t seen yet, and I “had” to watch it. Second attempt: fail. Things kept popping up that I “had” to tell my friends that weren’t there. Instead of starting at seven on Friday night, I tried for eight. Third attempt: desperate fail. During worship, I “had” to tell a friend something funny that occurred to me, but my phone was back in my dorm room. What did I do? I snatched, yes, snatched, another friend’s phone from her hand and proceeded to send a text message. As the hours passed without technology, I realized I felt empty without my phone. Something was wrong.
Something is wrong when we feel empty without our phones, but not when we forget to spend time with God. Something is wrong when it’s easier to go without food than technology. Something is desperately wrong when, in the presence of God, we feel we have to compensate with material things. Something is desperately wrong.
As we got together as a class to discuss our technology fast, and all of us agreed that it hadn’t been a pleasant experience for anyone, the professor brought up a question that none of us wanted to answer. “Do you need technology? Is it food and water? Do you really need it?” The room was quiet as we all realized: No, we don’t.
We need air to breathe, food to eat, and water to drink, all things that God mercifully provides, and we need God, without Whom we would be lost. Everything else is vanity.
I encourage anyone that can to put aside technology for a day, or even a few hours. Or maybe just that little piece of technology you feel you would be empty without. It’s dangerous to let material things consume us, dangerous to rely too heavily on them. They are man-made creations, and they will, without a doubt, fail us. With the right attitude, a technology fast can teach you that, no matter how much time you spend with Him, God will never run out of battery.
“And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).