Day 10 — Fast
Today’s word — Fast — isn’t one I’m too familiar with. My fasting comes in the context of blood work, since I’m diabetic, or colon preps since my mom had colon cancer and I am screened every three years. But I KNOW what Biblical fasting is, what it’s supposed to be about. In a spiritual sense, abstaining from food is done in order to deepen our relationship with God. I’ve heard all kinds of stories about amazing visions and epiphanies happening while someone is fasting. Jesus himself went into the wilderness and fasted to be tempted for 40 days.
Sometimes I think God just a thing for the number 40! Noah and his family floated in the ark for 40 days. After Moses killed the Egyptian he ran away to Midian where he lived for 40 years. Then when he received the tablets with the Ten Commandments he was on Mt. Horeb for 40 days and nights. The Hebrew people wandered in the desert for 40 years… Well, are we beginning to see a pattern here? For some reason it seems God has decided 40 is a number associated with trials and sufferings, the outcome of which can change a person’s life. When people fast these days I’m guessing they don’t observe the whole 40 thing. But fasting is certainly a common practice if a person is seeking guidance from God.
However, I’m one of those people who is more comfortable with being proactive rather than passive when it comes to faith (even IN those times when God and I aren’t seeing eye to eye!).
So rather than give something UP for Lent (which fasting may fall under), my family has made it a practice to ADD something instead. Be it a matter of sending cards to folks at church, making phone calls just to say hey, or (my favorite) donating food for the food bank. So THIS is what I think of when I think of fasting…
Between the three churches in our denomination in the Ogden area, we just delivered over 5000 cans/boxes of food to the food bank. If fasting is supposed to feed your heart and draw you closer to God, THIS is the banquet I want to go to…
We must master our egoism, and through this mastery, step outside ourselves and educate ourselves in giving. Fasting requires that we rediscover all that is alive around us, and reconcile ourselves with our environment.
Picture Credit: www.compassminerals.com