“Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?”
I’ve been feeling God tell me lately that I am drifting. I’m not sinning, not outright, but spiritually I’m just drifting through my day. I lack mindfulness. I have good hindsight – I can look back and think of the homeless people I should have stopped for, the person on the subway I should have approached for prayer. But in the moment? Not so much.
Plus, I’ve been really impatient this week. I have zero tolerance for errant drivers or jaywalkers and little things have been annoying me. The sentences “I loathe humanity” and “people are a needle in my eye” might have come out of my mouth this week. Some could say that I just need more sleep, and I agree. But God has also been telling me that’s not entirely to blame, that it’s time to regroup and recharge spiritually. In short, it’s time to fast.
Fasting for me usually involves a 24-hr period in which I eat no solid food. I drink water, milk, and/or tea but nothing else. The first time I did it I tried to compensate and have a milkshake in lieu of a solid meal, but God corrected me and I haven’t done that since. And no yogurt or peanut butter either – that’s still food, people. It’s not about pushing the boundaries of what I can get away with, and it’s not about staying full. That’s not what fasting is for. It’s about feeling the hunger and wanting God more. But I digress.
This time is a little bit different. I feel like God wants to increase mindfulness in me, and my appreciation for this world He’s so lovingly created. So instead of 24 hours, this one will be for a few weeks. Instead of the absence of food, I will be allowed to eat to nourish my body – but not to eat so that I gain pleasure from the eating. No seasonings, salad dressings, rich foods….none of that. Eat to sustain and that is all. This will be a first for me but I feel like that’s what God’s telling me. So I’ll be starting that Monday – bring it!
Timely with this is a visit from a girl named Cheryl. A friend of mine went to Mozambique to serve there and attend the Harvest School of Ministries. The she went approximately a million other places as God directed, and came home when He said. She was gone for almost 6 months altogether I think. Anyway, while in Mozambique she met Cheryl, a fellow student at the Harvest school. Cheryl is now in the NYC area and looking for a place to stay for about a week. Starting when? Monday. The thing about Cheryl is that she lives a life of service. Even in chatting to prepare for coming here, she just radiated this Holy Spirit joy. Her outlook is exactly what God is trying to instill in me I think, so it is awesome that her visit and my fast are starting the same. How cool is His timing?? Stay tuned. I foresee a big week!
Might true fasting be not of food but outside distraction so love in ones heart can manifest and grow? Just a thought as I read. Enjoy you BIG week.
Thanks! And you’re right – fasting is definitely not limited to food. You will see all three of us Rebekahs go on facebook fasts, tv fasts, etc from.time to time. I let God guide the specifics. Of what to fast and what the boundaries should be- He knows what we need. I do like a food fast because in our hunger and physical weakness we become even more dependent on Him tp sustain us and guide us, and He moves mightily in those times. In my case , this fast is a way to regain mindfulness of the world around me, and to walk with God’s heart for the world in my heart. The way I’ve been eating lately has been sort of robotic – fast, rushed, grabbing what’s convenient and sometimes not even really tasting what’s in my mouth. It’s sort of a small version of how I’ve been robotically going thrpugh life the past couple weeks. So for me right now, a food fast makes the most sense. 🙂
You speak with wisdom. I too have known to slow down and taste the food I eat but also know the fast pace which I live I do not like. I don’t love the fast pace but know with God’s loving grace I will cold turkey what I do not need as time passes. I don’t do facebook, nor do I fully understand all your Rebekah’s, but still love reading anyway. God Bless.
Well said, Rebekah! Fasting is rarely pleasant other than the fruit it produces (pun intended).