Thursday, February 18, 2010

With apologies to those who will read the entire article later and in another place, what follows is part of what I've written for our congregation's newsletter:

Recently, I took up an ancient and widely-used practice ~ I spent one day fasting. I write this not to draw attention to myself, but to draw attention to our God. What I noticed is that I spend a lot of time eating; and if I’m not eating, I am often thinking about what I’ll eat next. And I don’t think I’m alone in this. Whether it’s a meal, a snack, a cup of coffee, a quick dessert, or whatever, I think eating is close to our minds. During that one day, I found myself once in a while thinking about going to get something to eat. But when I did, I was able to immediately turn my attention back to what I was doing. Sure, I was a little hungry, but I was able to experience freedom from bondage to something, even if for just one day.

This freedom is on the one hand. On the other hand, however, I realized something more profound. The day after fasting, I woke up in the morning, and prepared to go running in the same way I prepare every day. I ate the same food, drank the same drink. My run, however, didn’t go so well. I realized, at about the time I was turning around to come home, that I was hungry. And more than that, I realized that my body was weak. My experience was far from life-threatening ~ I’d only gone one day without eating. But I recognized how completely we depend on what God provides us. I recognized, in a small way, what the Hebrew people came to understand as they wandered through the wilderness ~ that all of life, daily bread especially, comes from God.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your story, Matthew. I think I fasted a couple times a long time ago, and I've been thinking about trying it again. Your story might be what inspires me.