Recently I decided to go on a fast. 7 days without food, just fruit juices and water. I have never done this type of thing before (except for a very on/off successful sweet fast) so I was pretty excited and really up for it. It was going to be amazing, getting closer to God, challenging myself to something and learning about myself.
I managed 2 days!
If I am being completely true my motives weren’t so pure. I didn’t want to do it to look impressive but I did think it would be a quick way of losing a few much needed pounds before the football season resumed. The whole spiritual aspect was a bit of a side issue. Which I know now is not the way that a fast, especially the type I was looking for, should be done.
So I decided to read up a bit and start again sometime, ease into it instead of rushing into something I didn’t fully understand. So I will.
That’s not to say that it was a waste of time or a complete failure.
I started to pray. That may sound like a strange comment from a Bible College student but I don’t pray that often. But when I didn’t have any food for two days I just started praying. The best thing was it just seemed natural. It was supernatural. It wasn’t forced. I turned to God instead of food. And I liked it a lot.
I also was less agitated. I was working for both the days I did it and I was really relaxed with annoying customers. I was in the queue paying for petrol and someone pushed in in front of me. It didn’t bother me. Someone took my place and I didn’t care. It didn’t matter to me. It was a great feeling to be honest. Instead of getting all worked up and letting it consume me it just washed over me. I felt really healthy. Physically and mentally.
Even in such a short time my outlook on food has started to change. I like eating. Who doesn’t but I started to realise that it is possible to survive without it. It was strange coming to meal times and not eating but it was possible. And after not eating when I did eat again it was good. In fact it was better than I could have imagined. Food that I have had a million times before tasted different and better. It made me think of Heaven when everything good will be heightened. Maybe it was a small fortaste into eternal life.
I appreciate food a bit more. I appreciate and am thanful that food is available to me whenever I like. I’m pretty lucky. There is a 24 hour garage a 5 minutes drive away that I can get whatever I like, whenever I like. Everytime I have eaten since, I remember this and meals have been so much more enjoyable because of it.
These are all great new ways of thinking to come out of this experience. But I want to change my behaviour. I want to not just remember people who don’t have food or homes or anything else which I can readily get access to, but help them. I read somewhere that if after doing a fast it doesn’t change your behaviour then it is a waste of time.
I really recommend fasting to anyone. In fact if you believe what Jesus says is true, maybe its not a command but definately an expectation. I only managed two days but in those two days I learnt a lot more about myself than in a long time. I saw my sin highlighted and I saw my outlook on things changed. It inspired me to do longer and it inspired me to do something.
I hope you take up the challenge. You won’t be disappointed.
Though if I would say one thing, maybe start with short fasts and maybe someday, we can do what these guys did.