Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.
Well folks, this is the last Friday of my three-week fast that kick-starts the year; however, it will NOT be the last Fasting Friday post of the year. In fact, I plan on doing a mini-fast each Friday and continuing to do these weekly posts. So, as my second annual fast is coming to an end, I have a few thoughts to share.
We’ve talked before about what fasting is and why we do it, different types of fasts, and I’ve shared different bits of my fasting journey with you. Today, I want to share a couple of helpful tips I’ve discovered while fasting.
- Don’t think about it.
It’s much easier to complete a fast if you choose not to dwell on the food you wish you were eating. I’m not of the camp that suggests everything ought to easy, because it simply isn’t true, but you can keep from making the process unnecessarily difficult by purposefully forgetting that gallon of sweet tea just sitting in the fridge.
- Turn it off– all off.
I have done a couple of long term fasts. During some, I continue to consume seclar media; during others, I don’t. I’ve discovered that the latter is much more helpful to my fasting health. When you watch TV, at some point you’re going to see food ads and they will be about the “forbidden fruits.” If you listen to the radio (or iTunes, or records, or Pandora, etc), you’re going to hear music that feeds the fleshly part of you. Even if the songs aren’t “bad” songs, if they aren’t glorifying God, they’re glorifying something else. I won’t get into whether secular music is evil or admissable, but the point of fasting is to starve your physical self in order to feed your spiritual self. Secular media and entertainment tend to do the opposite.
- Gather no moss.
It’s true: fasting will make you tired. It may be for the first few days, it may be the first week. If you’re only fasting a couple of days, or one day, you may be very tired the whole time. While you ought to give your body the rest it needs, make sure that you keep going. Take a power nap or two, go to bed early, relax and enjoy your quiet time with God, but don’t let this exercise in deepening your spiritual walk kill off legitimate parts of your life. Remember, the more things you put off, the more you have to do later.
- Don’t forget.
A common trap during long-term fasts is forgetting to pray. We get caught up in preparing the foods within our guidelines, we get tired from not eating at all, we get grumpy from our bodies’ reactions to our change in diet, and suddenly we forget the most essential part of any fast: PRAYER. Remember, “If you’re not eating, and you’re not praying, you’re just going hungry.”