A Funny Thing Happened On My Way Through the Fast
If you do not follow me on Facebook, you may not have seen some of my bumbles during my first Fast. Let me just refresh your memory on what is happening. Our church, CenterBranch, is the host church for a 21 day Fast as part of CreateChangeWV.org. There are over 20 churches now involved. Hundreds of people praying and fasting, seeking God for change in ourselves and in our community. If you have not checked out the website, please pop over and take a look. Pray with us and stay tuned to hear about the impact. This rolls right into Festival of Life a revival with Jonathan Shuttlesworth. The fast is building momentum and if my experience thus far is an indicator…this is gonna be HUGE.
Like I said this was my first fast. Originally, I was only committing to two days a week, from 6 AM to 6 PM. Then after the events of the first day and my husband, who I did not even know was going too Fast, announcing we could not eat on Tuesday till 6 PM…we committed to 6 to 6 every day for the duration of the 21 days. Remember…first time fasting.
To be honest, other than an incident of hangry the first day quickly remedied by devotion and prayer, miserable hunger has not been an issue. Yes, we have both been hungry and 6 PM is a welcomed time in our home, but it is not us waiting like ravenous wolves over a carcass. (Ok, maybe that was a little too graphic…but you get the idea.)
I say we have not been waiting like wolves…except for Saturday. Saturday we decided to go to the local park for some family time at the pool. We had made plans to go to the river on Sunday, but the weather looked ominous and frankly, I wanted to float in the lazy river. Off to VA Park we went. We had plans to cook out that evening, it was perfectly mild weather last Saturday. We got to the pool after a fresh rain storm. Not too hot, soft breeze. The kind of evening God makes for a cookout. After being in the pool for a bit we were hungry. It was about 5:45 PM and they blew the whistle for the life guards to take a break. We got in line for the concession stand. We seriously believed it would take at least 10 to 15 minutes to get through the line and get our food.
Think again. We were at the front of the line in no time flat. Worse still…the concession stand was out of almost everything. We walked away with all the air out of our balloon and instead of the yummy vittles we had imagined (ok it was processed fast food crap – but when you are hungry…) we had two pepperoni rolls and an order of chicken tenders. Seriously? No…seriously? We walked, somewhat disappointed back to our little table to observe it was 5:55 PM. God would not really mind would he? It had been far more than 12 hours since we ate. My son, husband and I all exchanged looks and some comical comments. We waited, semi-patiently as my son provided a countdown to 6 PM. Processed artificial food junk never tasted so good.
You would think we would learn…right.
Sunday the original plan had been to go to the river. The dinner plan was a crock pot meal. (You see where this one is going wrong?) We came home from an amazing church service. It was rainy and a perfect day for the meal I had planned. Roast. I seared the meat and put everything in the crock pot. Everything was fine until the aroma started to fill the house. My husband had the good sense to hid in the bedroom with a fan blowing the smell away from him. I love the man but it is hard to write with his sonorous sleep sounds or TV noise in the room. I went to my second favorite place to right – my recliner. The recliner is also about 4 feet from the crock pot. Dinner was very good last night. There were not leftovers.
Today was the hat trick. Friday was my first day back to work after being out for so long, but today was the first day writing claims again. When I got home I needed to get dinner going if it was going to be ready at a decent hour. It is 6:13 PM now and it will be ready soon. I started prepping everything. I was doing great. Just like last week. Not tasting anything, just plowing along getting stuff ready. Then my older son came in the kitchen and we were having a serious discussion. A discussion that made the Momma less than happy. I was distracted. See all the other days I was prepping food, I was singing praise and worship songs or praying as I prepped food. (That was the secret to not slipping.) As I had this rather intense discussion with my son, I popped a piece of food in my mouth…just as fast, I spit it out and it bounce off the counter, onto the floor and was rescued by my Great Dane Luca. (This happened twice more, before I was finished prepping dinner.) I never made it to chewing anything. As soon as the food was there it was like a panic rushed over me. It was one of those moments that I know I made God laugh.
Yesterday during service our Pastor talked about the fast and let it be known that it was not too late for others to join in. He also let all of us know if you had messed up on the fast, it did not mean you could not pick up and keep going. (That’s all paraphrased, but same spirit.) The point is the fast is about denying our flesh. Matthew 26:41 “Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!” As I focus on God, the hunger and desire for food does not really phase me. When I get distracted from God, whole different story. I almost had a misstep in my fast today because I got distracted. I was not focused on God so it was easy to give into my flesh and the desires of my body.
Speaking of the Spirit Being Willing and the Flesh Being Weak
I have tried to lose weight in all sorts of ways. Fad diets, nutritionally sound diets, and not-so-smart OTC pills. I have bought gym memberships, videos, exercise equipment and contraptions guaranteed to help me get in shape. I always blame it on will power, well will power and Oreos. I had struggled with a neurological condition that can be greatly diminished by watching certain foods and I still did not control myself. Let’s face it…I was a glutton and at least when it came to exercise, lazy. (I say had a neurological condition because I am claiming healing over my condition.)
That is changing too. The spirit has always been willing to change, but again the flesh was not remotely willing. The flesh wanted the couch, some Oreos and a good movie or book. I opted to, initially, fast for two days because I honestly did not think I could make it through one. I could not make it through a weekend detox, why would I be able to fast. The difference is God. So when the fast is over, I am approaching my weight loss differently too. I am not going to obsess over the scale. I am going to eat healthier. I am going to use the Daniel Plan as a guide. I want to use whole, natural foods more than anything else. I am not going to diet. I am going to exercise. No less than three days a week I am going to go to the gym. My goal is to go five days a week. I am going back to yoga…I miss yoga. But instead of trying to clear my mind, which was never successful, I am going to pray and focus on God.
My past attempts with will power to be healthy and lose weight are gone and were miserable failures. I am setting myself up for future success, no more will power. I am going to tap into Spirit Power. Besides, with everything God has in store for me…I need to get in shape to keep up with myself.
Moral of today’s story: When we focus on God the impossible becomes I’m Possible. (Yes, I do like to speak in bumper sticker.) With God I am succeeding in this, my first Fast. I am growing at a break neck speed in my first Fast. I am happy, joyful without eating my emotions all day long. This Fast is reshaping my relationship with God and with food. I feel like in just a week my faith has gone from a mustard seed to an avocado seed (technically a pit, you get the point). Keep your eyes on Him and you cannot go wrong.