HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
I’m fasting again. Yes, it’s a partial fast. Yes, it’s the Daniel Fast. Yes, I eat.
This just happened to me tonight though, and I’m still laughing and in shock. I was driving home this evening and passed a food place with french fries I especially enjoy and thought to myself “hmm, I could probably eat those…no I can’t, they’re fried…is fried food allowed? No, I don’t think it is…hmm…” While I went back and forth in my head, I ended up passing the entrance because traffic was so bad so I shrugged it off and thought, “Oh well, better off, probably….but I can always just turn around….” But nope, I was stuck at this really busy intersection when I glanced over at a truck two lanes over that had something weirdly shaped loaded onto the back of it. I looked at it as it passed and I could not even make this up: it was Jesus Christ on a cross. SERIOUSLY. It was one of those giant ornamental crosses that get hung in Catholic churches. I was so fixated STARING at it making sure I was believing my eyes that I got honked at because traffic had started moving in front of me.
Anyway, I took it as a wink from our Lord that he’s glad I stayed on track and that he’s with me everywhere, everyday, even in traffic I guess!
I fasted last year if you remember or read this blog at this time. It was tough and I totally stopped 14 days into it and then did it half-assed for the last 7 days. Not a sparkling ending but the experience was definitely life-changing, regardless. It really has little to do with food and everything to do with prayer and discipline (which we all know I have none of) and growing a relationship with our Savior. And I did. And I experienced insane miracles during my fast last year. It was cool.
This time, I had it set in my mind since December that I would start the first Sunday of the year (the 4th) and go for 21 days. In preparation for my fast on Sunday, I started reading posts in my fasting community’s page on FB on Saturday night. Something nagged at me to consider going 40 days. Then I told myself that lie, “You can’t do it, you couldn’t do it for even 21 days last year, remember?” So I put the thought aside and wished that I had my church fasting with me. Or any other Christian person, actually.
Anyway, I go to church on the 4th and Pastor Miles McPherson is talking about what the church will be focusing on throughout the year, month by month. We all have a handout where we can write our name if we are going to participate in that month’s activity/theme/prayer etc.
Miles gets to February and says, “In February, we as a church are going to fast, starting February 8th.” My mouth dropped open. I dropped my pen. My legs dropped from the seat in front of me they were propped on. I’m not kidding. I’m glad I was sitting alone. Someone might’ve thought I just died and lost control of all my body movements. Then I laughed. (Like a crazy person laughing in the dark, crawling on the floor, looking for her pen by herself in a church is so totally NOT scary, right? Why am I single, again?) Then I totally went into selfish mode and was like, totally thinking to myself, “Ugh, pffft, argghh!! I already started though, can’t you guys move up your fast…ughhh!!” Pastor Miles goes on to say that the pastors will actually be starting 3 weeks before so people are welcome to join then as well. I pulled out my iPod (those still exist, I was in-between phones at the time) and looked at the Google calendar trying to figure it out. That means I still will be fasting two weeks solo, then what is another 3 weeks, and then after that…wait, how many days…wait….
A-ha! I gotcha, God. You wanted me to do at least 40 days. OK. I GET IT.
So, I went ahead and signed my name next to that little line that said, “I am interested in participating in the three-week fast.” Then crossed out “three” and wrote in “six” and that just goes to show you how great I am at math because it is actually eight.
That being said, this song comes to mind:
Will your grace run out/If I let you down/‘Cause all I know/Is how to run/‘Cause I am a sinner /If its not one thing its another/ Caught up in words / Tangled in lies /You are the Savior /And you take brokenness aside/And make it beautiful