“In an age of Taco Bell and Kentucky Fried Chicken, gluttony wins the day. We medicate ourselves with food and govern our lives around meals… Fasting returns to god the worship we offer to food… fasting exposes my strenuous death grip on the things of this world.”
-Christian George, Godology pg 82
These phrases resonated with my very limited experiences with fasting. For me, fasting is also a reminder of how dependent on god. Food is so easy in our culture. It’s easy to get disconnected from what a miracle this convenience is. It’s easy to get disconnected from how fragile and dependent we are.
And that first meal after a fast: that’s a cause for rejoicing in God, even if it’s just a few crackers and cheese.
The thing is, food isn’t the only thing that we offer worship to that rightfully belongs to God. Food isn’t the only way we depend on God. Food isn’t the only thing that comes easily (perhaps too easily) in our culture.
And so this leads to a question:
Should we fast from other things?
There are some things which are just bad in general. Things that we should abstain from all the time. I’m not talking about them.
I’m wondering if it’s worthwhile to abstain from things as an act of worship, as a reminder of the fact that they are not ultimate, as a reminder that God provides them, as a reminder that we are more than just a bag of our own needs, as an oppurtunity to appreciate whatever gift it is once I resume it.
I sometimes hear people talking this way, and they get general in a way that I don’t think would work for me. If I said I was going to fast from selfishness, or anger, or whatever, it would just become an exercise in feeling good or bad about myself. It would be easy to rationalize everything, or nothing, as belonging to the category I’m staying away from.
As Summer Vacation begins I’ve been finding myself looking for ways to make this a Godly, productive time. I’ve been contemplating some sort-of schedule of fasting. Maybe I’ll fast from a different thing every day. Maybe I’ll pick one day a week for my fasts through the Summer.
Some of the things that belong on this list would vary from person to person. Nonetheless, I’d love some replies to this post. I’d love to hear what your opinion as on the whole project and if you’ve got anything to add to this list. Here’s the beginning of my list:
joking around/silliness/ devising puns
reading (I probably ought to exempt The Bible from this)
engaging in politics
talking on the phone
listening to music
eating junk food
eating fast food
As I contemplate this, it occurs to me that I’m drifting into a sort-of Lent, “What are you giving up?” territory. I don’t think that this is a bad thing. I’m on board with the further idea that these tiny little sacrifices might focus my mind some on the cross. Sometimes this all becomes some weird form of punishment, which would not be my intent, but in the end, these things end up getting a little bit blurry.
What do you think?