On Fasting, and the Irony of Spiritual Discipline

So, I've been thinking about fasting for a while. [Okay, that should probably read "I've failed every single attempt to fast for the last year or so."]

It was going to happen on Wednesday, but someone in the office offered me a croissant-doughnut. Mmmmmmmmmm... Sugar-coated deep-fried French pastry...

Yesterday I resisted every urge to eat substantial food and went with popcorn and a little bit of fruit instead. Every urge, that is, until I found some chocolate leftover from Christmas...

There's a pattern here.

Then again, this has been a busy week. I've been running around trying to get all of my academic references in order for graduate study applications, which feels like trying to align the planets at times, and I need nourishment! Nothing relieves stress better than a nice sandwich, or some cheese, or some chocolate.
Then again (again?), these are the times when I should be the most ready to dedicate myself to the sacramental act of fasting. I feel most guilty about the laxity of my spiritual when I face times of tribulation; that's because I should be the most ready to praise God in my time of greatest need. I should stop eating when I "need it most" to show that I'm relying on God.
I don't need to eat; it's not like I'm hiking the Pacific Coast Trail here. I could even drink fruit juice for energy and stay quite healthy. (And, of course, there's tea...) What's important is that I'm setting my hunger aside to say "God, it doesn't matter how hard I try to get all of this done, it's you who is important."

So, I'm going to fast for real now, and since one or two other people now know about it (maybe even three!) I'll be forced to stick with it this time. No cheating! No Chocolate, not even hot chocolate! Not even mocha!

At least, that was what I was thinking until five minutes ago, when Ryan called and invited me to dinner.

2 comments:

Michelle said...

Sorry Dan that was our fault. But I hear that you actually did start on Monday. Good for you. How is it going?

Daniel Jackson said...

It wasn't your fault; I could have said no at any point in time. I don't like to be such a hermit that I'll pass up fellowship for fasting.

There's also the fact that I hadn't been to Red Lobster in a while...

Right now I'm going from "wow, I'm hungry!" to "wow, my stomach is making funny sounds, but I'm not really hungry anymore!"