Over the last three or four years Holy Week has become one of my favourite times of the year. I love taking time out to really focus on all that Holy Week is, and having that period of time to reflect solely on all that Jesus did for us during this time, rather than it becoming just another something we need to live by (and, let’s be honest, it’s amazing to bring back the meaning of Holy Week and Easter).
As I’ve got older, I’ve also found that there are so many demands on my time. I’ve just been reading some wonderful blog posts by Kelly Needhamabout how much social media can take over our lives (and it’s honestly true…I’ve already checked my phone a handful of times since I started writing this post about ten minutes ago. It’s seriously dangerous!). I especially noticed this was true while I was in India. Spending time with the children was my absolute priority and my phone spent 99% of the time on airplane mode, and was only really used as a camera or a video recorder. I had no wifi so I couldn’t keep checking into Facebook/Twitter/Instagram and I can honestly say that being in a place where nobody could get hold of me was so liberating.
As soon as I got home from India and my phone came off airplane mode, I was bombarded with texts, Facebook notifications, tweets and I just wanted to turn my phone off and shut the world out again, because for five weeks, my focus had been on God and on the task at hand, rather than falling into the comparison trap over photos of Instagram or who was now dating who according to the world of Facebook.
Usually, I have to have my phone on me for work, but since I’ve been back from India, I’ve been signed off sick with a sprained ankle (but that’s a story for another time), so I haven’t needed my phone; I’ve fallen back into the habit of relying on it to keep me updated with everyone, rather than taking time out to actually spend time with people.
People keep asking me questions about India, and I still haven’t really been able to process all that I experienced while I was there, and I think a large reason behind this is because as soon as I got home, life returned to normal (including my slightly obsessive use of social media) and I didn’t allow myself time to sit and reflect on all that was going on. After seriously praying about this, I’ve decided to abandon my phone and all things social media for the Easter weekend and focus again on the reason behind this amazing time of the year. I want to be so absorbed in all that Jesus wants to teach me and remind me of over the next few days that nothing can distract me. And to desperately try and remember all that God taught me while I was away.
I’m reminded of this amazing verse in Isaiah 58:6, which says
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?”
I don’t feel led to do a food fast over the next four days, but I do feel led to focus more on this sort of fasting; to get closer to the heart of God over this Easter weekend and to relive some of the precious moments I was able to experience while I was in India. To remember the joy of the children that I encountered (and they had this joy without phones/Facebook/computers etc. And I’m going to join them in that).
From tomorrow until at least Easter Sunday, my phone will be on airplane mode, so I won’t be able to be on Facebook or Twitter or whatever (and if you see me on it, feel free to tell me off!). I want to experience the God-given joy that the children at Frishta have, and I don’t want to let anything else get in the way. Tuesday is the first day of my last (ever!) term at Moorlands, so I’m using this weekend as an opportunity to spend time with people, rather than with my phone screen. And I honestly cannot wait.
See you on the other side!