Journal Entry: April 22, 2009

About a month ago, our preacher did a sermon on fasting in which he discussed the physical, emotional, psychological, and (of course) spiritual benefits of fasting. It struck a chord with me, and as I had missed breakfast before church, and was already planning on skipping the Second Sunday Fellowship afterward, I decided on the drive home that I would just go ahead and fast for the rest of the day.

Then I got home, got bored, and called D– to see if he wanted to do something, and that something ended up being lunch. Alas.

Before I got around to that, though, I came up with a grandiose plan to begin fasting regularly, and as 21 is my favorite number, I thought it might be a good idea to fast on the 21st of every month. Then, as I said, I went out to lunch and forgot all about it.

About a week ago, D– was over for dinner, talking about his vegan diet project, and he said offhand that I couldn’t survive for a day without meat. I pointed out that, about a decade ago, I’d gone a week without eating at all. I could go a day without food, let alone meat.

That was a long time ago, of course. I was deeply, deeply spiritual back then (unblunted by the woeful ravages of real life), and my goal was forty days and forty nights, and I don’t think I told anybody I was doing it (because Jesus said not to). Anyway, that was probably a really stupid and dangerous endeavor, but it’s something I’ve never forgotten.

But, yeah, last Thursday night we were talking about it, and decided we should do a 24-hour fast, and I said it would have to be after Sunday because I wanted to finish my 21 days on the elliptical, and being low on energy didn’t seem conducive. We settled on Tuesday, because that seemed the most convenient. So that was yesterday.

So that was yesterday. I had my last food Monday evening (a handful of jelly beans, around eight o’clock), because I was working on the traditional sunset-to-sunset fast. Woke up yesterday morning hungry and drove into work, where I had a carton of fresh fruit in the fridge. I left it there. I brought one of my big OU cups to work, full of ice water, and refilled the frequently from the water fountain, just to have something in my stomach.

Around nine in the morning I heard the secretary making the rounds, filling up the candy bowls, and I wept a little (not really). I thanked the Lord that no one had brought in donuts (yes, really). I spent my lunch break taking a nap in my car.

I dunno. I’m not going to paint it as some huge trial and tribulation, because it was just one day. It really wasn’t bad. It was distracting — I spent all day having to think about food, instead of mindlessly chowing down on it — but it wasn’t really difficult. I got home from work and there were homemade cookies on the countertop sitting next to the open gallon bag of jelly beans. Then T– started making dinner for her and AB, quesadillas and cheese dip, and it smelled delicious. I’d anticipated that, though, and I took a walk to get away from the house. By the time I got back, around seven, they were done.

We watched TV, Castle and Heroes, and after sunset I ate a big bowl of chili leftover from last Friday. It was good, but not lifechanging. I kind of wish I’d kept going.

Anyway, it wasn’t until halfway through the day that I remembered my decision, about a month ago, to start fasting on the 21sts. It was entirely coincidence that I followed through — we picked Tuesday for much more practical reasons — but I was glad of it. I think I’m going to try to follow through on that plan.

But, yeah, that was my day yesterday. Disjointed, vaguely meaningful, and characterized by a deep, deep suffering that really wasn’t all that bad. I missed breakfast and lunch and had a late dinner. Somehow, I was able to take meaning from that, and I think that’s the part that matters.

Other than that, it’s just things and stuff.

One Reply to “Journal Entry: April 22, 2009”

  1. The longest I’ve ever fasted was about 20 hours. It was a Sunday, and dinner with the house church was too irresistible. I’m not sure I can call it a spiritual experience, because all I did that day was think about food. At least it showed me how much of my brain power is consumed (ha ha) by thoughts of what I’m eating or not eating.

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