Thursday, March 21, 2019

It's so simple

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It’s Lent, the time when we give something up, a season for fasting. I remember the year my parents decided we were giving up TV for Lent. That felt like the longest Lent ever.

When I was with the Companions of the Cross, I learned to appreciate fasting a bit more. The whole community fasted every Friday. Some chose bread & water, some ate simple meals, but everyone knew that Friday was fasting day. It became part of my life. I found it helpful. Sometimes fasting tied in with a silent day of recollection. Stepping back from food was tied in with stepping back from the craziness of life and refocusing on Jesus. It was good.

Over the years I fell out of the weekly fasting habit. This year for Lent, I’m getting back in to it. I miss the simplicity it brings, not worrying about any significant food prep for myself for a bit. I miss the sense of quiet, of prayer, that I associate with those days of recollection. I miss that, and I want it back in my life.

The thing is, I find fasting pretty easy. I know some people really struggle with it, but it comes fairly naturally to me. I guess I’m lucky that way. I get a little hungry, so I have a glass of water and carry on. I get a little tired, so I slow down a bit, or have a short nap, and carry on. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

So why fast? If it’s so simple, what do I get out of it?

Honestly? I find that fasting makes a huge impact in my life. It’s ridiculous how something so small can change me. Saying no to my desire for bacon right now, using just that little bit of willpower, makes it so much easier to choose the good in other situations. It’s like a super-efficient exercise, as though I do a single sit up for a few weeks, and that prepares me to run a 5k. Setting aside time for prayer becomes easier. Attempting to be patient with my kids comes (slightly) more naturally. Forming other good habits just happens, all because I chose not to eat as much. It doesn’t seem like it should make that big of a difference, but it does.

So that’s my experience. And speaking of giving things up:

If you haven’t seen Galaxy Quest, or if it’s been more than a week, you really owe it to yourself to try to see it ASAP.

Read 1020 times Last modified on Thursday, March 21, 2019