I use to be good at fasting. I would give up food, technology, sleep, or work to be more self-disciplined. To rest, pray and grow my faith in what I could not see. To be part of something outside myself. For years, I gave up meals every Sunday and subjected my body to a 40 day juice fast a year. In doing so, I also tore up my stomach and most of my digestive system by not doing it smartly. Forcing my body to live off highly diluted orange juice with the occasional grape juice. After realizing the weight loss and gain of this was highly unhealthy, I let myself turn off all technology and just read, write, walk and visit with friends for a day.
It was good to not be obsessed with technology for a day thinking back to the days not so many years ago, I didn’t have it or my home computer sat turned off most of the time because I didn’t have time or a need to use it. What did I do before I realized the internet had more information than I could handle and Netflix more movies than I needed to watch?
Then I went back to school and life became busy. Sundays became homework days and the technology was always on again. Not intensely needed, just in the way that I felt like I needed to check my email 6 times a day including the Sabbath. That there must be some article on Facebook or RSS feed to read and become more rounded…even though I paid more attention to the pictures than words for the 6 days before.
At some point in that I felt like the call to give up something and stick to a solid lined Sabbath was legalistic…so I fasted legalism. I fasted from having to give up food or technology, or anything. In time I also stopped finding time to really rest, to read, pray or grow in faith or be outside myself.
Which leads us to 2014 Jeremiah…
Now I can’t give up soda or cookies or donuts knowingly for a day…telling myself “You can’t have sweets today. Just let them sit on the table without touching them.” I always figure out an excuse for why I deserve them or create a stressful situation that would be solved by food.
I can’t think about turning off my computer for a week without having something to fill that space like being in nowhere Montana or driving 2400 miles. Again, there is always a reason to check email again and again…especially now that it is on my phone.
For months I have been telling the beautiful Hannah my body needs a reset. I should do a cleanse or a food fast. But there is always some reason in my head not to so it hasn’t happened. Then at the beginning of the year I got a flu bug and my body did cleanse itself. Which has allowed me to justify the sweets, the lack of discipline and failure at knowingly fasting anything.
So I am still good at fasting… self-control.