Almost one year ago, I was a very different kind of person. Science fiction television programmes and movies obsessed me. I was a self-professed Star Trek, Star Wars and Doctor Who fanatic.
The Bible was a second or third priority and my relationship with God was taking a toll.
My parents had mentioned my obsessions several times. But my stubborn sci-fi engrossed flesh would not heed their warnings. Then…
I was at home, alone, working on algebra when—suddenly—I could felt a strong sense of terror.
I realised my priorities had shifted. I could feel God was concerned about my life.
I fell to my knees and began to cry out to Him. I prayed, hard. I realised I was being defined by my nerdy fandoms more than my relationship with Christ.
I remembered that, when I was watching the evil images on television, Christ was watching them with me.
I realised non-believers would see my life as a reflection of science fiction rather than a reflection of God’s light.
I was moved to tears.
That was when God told me to take a one-month-fast from all things science fiction.
I got up, removed all the Star Trek and Star Wars memorabilia from my room, stuffed them in a box, and put the box in the wardrobe. I got on my computer and put all my sci-fi related files in a password-protected folder.
I felt released from all the things that had once ruled my life.
I sat down and wrote an email to my friends about what I was doing. I addressed all the things God had been telling me and outlined what He had showed me about my life.
I asked them to hold me accountable to continue my pledge. I even invited them to join my fast.
I breathed a sigh of relief. I thought the worst was over with. Boy, was I mistaken!
Never be afraid to listen to God’s voice and make changes.
My family got home and I explained my fast to them. They were overjoyed. I next called Wes, my best friend. He thoroughly read my email. The next morning, he sent out an email of his own. He said was proud to see me as, ‘A man. A reflection of his Creator.’ He concluded by saying ‘I will not make a promise as yet that I will join James in his fast… An even greater influence than that of Captain James T. Kirk, Picard, The Doctor or The Force, is the influence of a great friend. Like a rocket igniting, James has challenged me with this. James is a leader.’
This email touched my deeply. But the next day, in class, I received a far different reception. One friend said I was ‘betraying Star Trek.’
This saddened me deeply. I admire this person very much and had expected a different response. Another friend respected my decision but did not want to join me.
This was only the beginning of the challenges. That evening my family and I stopped by a bookstore. My fast was up for another challenge.
On one shelf I saw a toy TARDIS. I had never seen one before and I had enough gift cards to purchase it. For a moment I wavered. Then I remembered my friends. How could I explain the purchase of a Doctor Who toy to them?
It was my accountability to them (and a good dose of supernatural strength) that enabled me to place that toy back on the shelf.
Later that month I went to the library to pick up a video. Shortly before my fast, I had ordered an episode of Doctor Who from an out-of-town branch.
I decided to keep this video and continue renewing it until my fast was over. It would be my reward at the end of my fast.
Once in class I was discussing my fast with David. Several students overheard our conversation. I was approached by two of them who asked about my fast. I explained my reasons and they listened politely. I believe I made an impact on them. At lunch I was approached by another student, Ty. He told me he had been struggling with his interest in secular music. He asked me what fasting from science fiction had been like. Once again, my fast had made a larger impact.
I filled the rest of my fast with classical music and good Christian books. At the end of the month I watched that Doctor Who episode from the library.
It did not hold the same attraction for me.
God was helping me move on. I removed my files from the folder and the memorabilia from the box.
It still took several more months to begin to get over my obsession. I can thankfully say I am no longer a person who watches Star Trek constantly or spends all his time researching Doctor Who. I still enjoy science fiction, but God is my priority.
Never be afraid to listen to God’s voice and make changes. Set up an accountability partner to keep you on the path. Share the decision with your friends, acquaintances and classmates.
You never know how a simple idea may change the world.