The movement wakes me (semi). It’s Husband rolling from bed to rise. Bleary, I mumble, “You getting up?” (meaning permanently, not just for bathroom jaunt).
He is, and so I make my reluctant body roll left to fumble-click the lamp to “on,” night-light level, so he can see what he’s doing. I try to utter something clever about is he rising while it is yet dark to prepare coffee for his household?…
But words still aren’t coming clear. I roll right to see the clock and jolt conscious. As for “still dark,” it’s that only somewhat!
“Oo! It’s late!”
“Yeah, what happened to you? You should have been up hours ago!”
“Must have been that fast fast I tried to do yesterday.”
I exaggerate, too. But maybe it did have this negative effect.
It certainly had others.
When days ago I read Ann VosKamp’s invite to explore “the spiritual discipline of fasting” for the next few weeks, I thought, “My! There I’d write from ignorance!”
So I considered fasting every Tuesday from 8 AM till 6 PM just to learn something, and (maybe) have something to say the next day. But I wanted to experiment yesterday first. Am I glad I did!
“Better not to vow, than make a vow and not fulfill it” (Ec 5:5 NIV)!
Now I don’t want in any way to disparage or discourage anyone who’s embarking today on some sort of useful fast, fast or slow. (I call it a “fast fast” if it’s momentary each week like my projected one, and “slow” if it drags on for forty days— because that can s-u-r-e-l-y s-l-o-w t-i-m-e. That much I know!)
But I decided yesterday, about this skip-lunch thing, for me the answer to the title’s question for throughout Lent this year is “No fast!”
I now find I have much to say, even if it is quite ignorant. But it’s not wholly that, either, because I have yesterday’s discoveries to report, plus advice I got from others, and realizations from scripture and remembered personal experiences.
I have indeed fasted from food at different times, for different reasons, and know there are good fasts and bad fasts, God says so.
Actually, there’s way more to say than one post can contain and not lose its readers (if it hasn’t already), so (God willing) I’ll write a second post this morning and publish it pronto, so whoever wants can click on “Fast, Fact and Fiction” below to read the rest.
For right now, just this: A Lenten fast ought to serve the purpose of sharpening our focus on Christ and His death and resurrection, possibly by freeing our schedule or shooing distractions so we spend more time and concentration on prayer and scripture reading and meditating on it.
“I’m giving up potato chips for Lent” won’t do that.
So before you start anything, you have that guideline I gained elsewhere.
More later. But now I’ve gotta go get out of this fuzzy robe and into some clothes, in case the doorbell rings… and get some nourishment, physical and spiritual… and…
See you later?
6 thoughts on “Fast Fast, Slow Fast, or No Fast?”
Hi there! I love how you write. I was chuckling through this. I read a saying yesterday that said a fast without prayer – is starvation. Quite funny really. Thanks for linking up. I love seeing you there.
Thanks, Tracy. I like that saying, too! True! So happy to be linking up!
Fasting in whatever form is no fun. But fasting (even from potato chips) can indeed draw you closer to God…depending on the mindset behind it. Just like any spiritual discipline. I’m not technically “required” to fast because I am nursing, but I figure I need the spiritual exercise. And it turns out that my modified fast is keeping me aware and empty and searching all day. To me, that emptiness is what it’s all about.
Thanks, Kathleen, for the good insights. Stick around. I’m not dissing fasting by any means. Just the way I was going about it not being the wisest. The post (planned) for tomorrow will give some spiritual benefits I got even from my poor performance. I’ll also be mentioning some advice I’ve picked up on how best to fast, and not to. Maybe I should retract my statement about potato chips. I admit I was thinking more of a wrong attitude than the specific food. I suppose for some people in some circumstances it could have spiritual benefits. Maybe even me. Glad you stopped by and commented! You can probably add more good insight as we go along a bit longer. Hope you come back so you can. God bless!
Yes and love it. From personal experience I think fasting rests in two facets: the leading of the Holy Spirit and a healthy dose of self-control. Both must be in place.
I am with you sister. Press on and in.
Yes, Brooke, thank you for the wise and encouraging words. The leading and working of the Holy Spirit really is key, and the place to start. And I’m bound to fail when my efforts are all in my flesh. Blessings to you, dear sister!
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