Yesterday I fasted.
How come I don’t remember it being this painful?
I’ve done the 30 Hour Famine thing a few times. But I supposed yesterday was the first time in about four years that I’ve fasted. I kept getting hungry! It was so frustrating! I actually had to fight temptation (which I never think of temptation at the time) over and over again to rationalize eating .
I read up on the internet why we fast. It is a spiritual discipline. It helps you remember, every time you have hunger pangs, that we need God for our spiritual life (we know God through the bread of life, his Word, Jesus). It also humbles you, which I didn’t understand until I ate my break-fast, a simple dinner of chicken fingers, rice, and pomegranate green tea with honey.
Because of my depleted energy, I took everything slowly, I appreciated every moment. I stared at my plate, realized this simple meal was abundant. I had more than I needed. The tastes were so delicious, yet otherwise common, but after a day of tasting nothing, I savored every bite.
I ate slowly, aware of whatever part of the meal I was eating, when I was eating it, knowing that my stomach couldn’t handle consuming it all too quickly. I thought about the Word, and how I tend to wolf it down, read my little Bible passage as quickly as possible, not really thinking too hard about it. I realized the Word is our nutrition, but it is also a beautiful (delicious?) feast, and there’s so much of it, we have to take it in slowly. See how good it is, and commit to continue eating, (don’t stop at one sip of tea, because it tasted so good, you don’t think you could handle any more). But eat! Mange mange mange!!! It’s good, and it gives life. I understood how it was humbling, finally. There was too much food. I couldn’t eat it all. Typically, my attitude to food is barely above appreciative. I’m arrogant in my consumption, eating as if it is something regular. But it is special. I was so grateful for that food, that for the first time in a long time, I realized was a very good gift from God, not ordinary at all.
Every sip of pomegranate green tea was delicious. That’s another thing I noticed was a result of the fast. I was willing to try new foods. You can’t be picky when you’re hungry. I don’t normally like pomegranate green tea. I loved it last night. And when Will suggested putting the chicken fingers on the buns I had intended for the side, I resisted at first, having my own ideas of what I wanted, but opened up to the idea (it’s simple, I know, but it was profound to me in my hunger), and was so grateful that I did. I think when we get so used to having food, we get used to having it our way. Hunger reminded me that sometimes I don’t always know what will taste good. And getting back to the food/the Word metaphor, I remembered that I can’t put God’s word in a box, assuming that I know what I want (or need). When God speaks, a humble spirit listens, and doesn’t limit themselves to only what they want to hear.