One of my closest friends practices fasting better than anyone I've ever met. Nearly every year during Lent, he fasts from food for six days in a row, eats on the Sabbath, and begins again the following day. I recently asked him to write about this practice, but being more Scripturally and spiritually attuned than I am, he begged off. Still, feeling there was value in others being able to read about this practice and with the possibility that others might even try to fast for a day for the first time in their lives, I convinced him to do it anonymously on my blog. He's going to keep a sort of diary each day and I'm going to share it here. I hope you find my friend's journey exciting and convicting.
Tuesday, February 20, 2018 Day 7 of Lent
Tuesdays are not too bad hunger-wise, since I just ate yesterday. However, fixing a meal for my kids was not as pleasurable this evening, and smelling the leftover bacon as I heated it up for my son did stir up hunger pangs.
My prayer times have been pretty good today. I not only prayed through the morning service in the Book of Common Prayer, but I also spent some time praying for folks I know, people in my church, and family. I feel like I am in a decent rhythm of prayer right now. There haven’t been any tear filled, mountain top, emotional experiences, but I am in a groove, I guess. I feel like I am getting closer to God, but I am also aware of a need I have to be closer. I need this time. I need this discipline. I am such a bad pray-er that I need to do something drastic sometimes to grow at it. And because of God’s grace, He meets me where I am.
It’s funny, I was laying on my back in my office, in order to rest my back and keep it from cramping up, and I was contemplating some stuff I’d just read that got me thinking of issues around the Great Schism of 1054. The day had begun well, and I was feeling like I was fairly holy, to be frank with you, and the phone rang. Now with my back bothering me, getting up to get the phone presented a challenge, so I moved quick, cursed under my breath and just like that… there went my sanctification! I continue to be humbled. All it took was an unexpected phone call. CS Lewis has a line about these things, I think in “Mere Christianity” about catching rats in the cellar and sin. If you bang loud and make noise during your approach, the rats have time to hide. If you come upon them quickly and suddenly, you catch them. Sometimes those unexpected things reveal our rats in the cellar. I continue to be made aware of my weaknesses. I continue to realize my need for grace. During prayer, I was thinking about a family relationship I have and contemplating my heart towards this person. For a moment, I was able to see myself outside myself and a bit of how I was. It’s not always flattering to see yourself outside of your own gracious point of view. Anyway, I am aware of my brokenness and my need for the Holy Spirit to continue to work in me.
A reading from my noon prayer time:
When we were still helpless, at the appointed time, Christ died for the godless.