Just yesterday I began a 21-day season of fasting, prayer and devotion, along with the amazing congregation I lead in Lafayette, Indiana.
The first few days of a fast are not entirely fun. I feel kind of groggy from a lack of caffeine. I have a headache. I’m not really physically up for much activity, and I want to sleep. Sleeping maybe all I feel I can do well right now.
At this point in my fast, I’ve been learning the following kinds of lessons:
- I’m far too insulated from regular pain or self-denial in my life. I’d like to think I’m disciplined in some ways, and I know I have a long way to go in others, but the level of temptation and discomfort I feel from dropping caffeine and regular food is helping me see the unhealthy habits I’ve picked up in the normal course of life.
- I have allowed patterns of distraction to enter and even control my life. Too many things in my life keep me from entering as deeply as I might into a life of communion with God. I’m changing some habits for these 21 days and find that I am already missing those avenues of distraction. I need increased focus. This will help me to grow increasingly into being a person of prayer.
- I’m aware during this fast just how much I keep myself from needing to trust God for much. I live a comfortable life that so many people in our world don’t have. I am awakening to my need for God that has been there all along.
What are you learning if you’re engaging in the fast? What is God speaking to you?