Recently I had a conversation with a loved one on the discipline of fasting. They expressed the premise that fasting should only take place if led in your spirit to do so. I agreed. But like so often happens, my mind continued to return to this concept of fasting, going without for a greater purpose to be reached. When a concept begins to marinate within my soul, I know I must put pen to paper. And boy, did I write and write. So consider this blog a launching pad into this deep, sometimes controversial subject. Subscribe to my e-mails where I will give in flight directions as we soar to new heights in our practice of this discipline which is finding wings in our society again. You say, “Not in my circles!” Really, have you seen studies or listened to the benefits of the following:
v Detoxing the body through a water cleanse or water fast
v Powering down --- taking a break (fast) from social media and other media devises
v Purging your “stuff” to live more simply and purposely
v Blocking out time in your calendar to be present, create, and be still
These are all quality of life actions; they are to stimulate realignment with what is most important in our lives. All these would be a type of “fasting”, a self-denial with an end result in the wings. So as is so often the case, Biblical principles are beneficial whether you practice the Christian tradition or not. Our Creator has put certain tenets in place that work across the board and this is one. Sometimes you can only receive proper perspective with emptying your hands of what fills them.
Fasting has been seen as a denial of food or other item in order to demonstrate the seriousness of our faith or religious practices. However, what if we looked at it as a cleansing, a rebalancing of our soul, body, and purpose? Our purpose for abstaining isn’t to “get” what we want or to receive “brownie points” for showing such restraint. As I poured over the Scriptures, there were some interesting finds for me that will be shared in my e-mails during this season before Easter. So don’t forget to subscribe to my e-mails www.shagaejones.com.
The motivation for fasting, purging, powering down, etc. should be to experience the opposite of abstaining… INDULGE. I know it’s an oxymoron that life throws us. By abstaining from the non-essentials, the” background noise” of our lives, we actually are freed to indulge in things we often overlook --- rest, peace, focus, direction,...ultimately our relationship with our Heavenly Father. Practically, here are a couple examples:
v Abstain from needless spending to indulge in giving generously of what you save.
v Give up binge-watching Netflix so you can indulge in a project you’ve left on the back burner for far too long.
v Rest on the Sabbath so you may indulge in restoration for your soul.
v Step away from a meal to fill that space with prayer and reflection, relating to your Abba.
This year’s Lent Season lasts from March 6th – April 18th; each week you can receive an e-mail from me with helpful tips to utilize this season as an opportunity to seek our Lord without the distractions, appetites, etc. that so often cloud our judgement. It allows us to be open to receive what our Restorer knows we need. Whether you consider yourself a follower of Christ or not, I challenge you to pursue the discipline of this season. Test it and see what results you experience on the other side of doing without.