This week has gone pretty much as expected physically. I’m feeling a little weaker than normal, but stronger than I did at the beginning. I walked two miles with a friend this morning, but that was about my limit.
Light-headedness has been the biggest challenge, especially in the mornings. But that has translated into a slower pace of doing things that provides one of the benefits of a fast: an opportunity to contemplate life a little more thoroughly.
I felt some lower back discomfort for a couple of days, which I recognized as an early indication of dehydration. So I increased my water intake (currently about 90 oz./day) and that went away. I had blood tests done on Friday, and so far my electrolyte levels are still within normal range, but I know they will be falling. Too much water eliminates much needed electrolytes, too little results in dehydration.
Spiritually, I’m feeling incredibly blessed. I wonder if I am actually being exceptionally blessed right now, or if I’m just much more aware of the blessings that I would normally just overlook. I suspect a little of both.
I’m often asked what I’m seeking to achieve through this fast. Although the timing was triggered by being out of work, it is not about asking God to bring me a job or meet any other specific physical needs. I don’t believe I need to fast to get God to provide for my family’s needs. Here are my primary goals for this fast:
- To humble myself before God and tangibly demonstrate to Him (and myself) via this act of worship that nothing is more important to me than Him – not my appetites, not my physical comfort, not my energetic activities, not my coffee, or my typical October motorcycle trips. It’s easy to state such things, but physically demonstrating our values reinforces the commitment behind our words.
- To learn to recognize the prompting of the Holy Spirit more clearly. Clearing away as much of the clutter of this world as possible to be able to hear the gentle whispers of God.
- To ask God to use this fast to prepare and equip me to do the things that Isaiah 58 proclaims to be the results God wants to see from a fast:
“Is this not the fast that I have chosen:
To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens,
To let the oppressed go free,
And that you break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out;
When you see the naked, that you cover him,
And not hide yourself from your own flesh? “
– Isaiah 58:6-7, The New King James Version
If that’s what it takes to please God, that’s what I want from this fast. It’s ultimately not about what I want, but what God wants.