Saturday, January 21, 2012

Cleansing Fast

I had this friend in the Peace Corps who I admired for his spiritual discipline. He was a devout Christian, an avid prayer and confident evangelist. The other thing he did well - and often - was fast.

I've never been one for limiting my caloric intake. I love to eat, not in a foodie type of way where I know quality, but in a 'let's get together and chat over a tasty meal' kind of way. Also, I get distracted by food, or by thinking about how it will make me feel.

Dominic and I are in a time of transition. Again. So last Saturday I thought I might try a one week fast. The problem is I made it up myself. Basically, I thought that I would limit what I ate, but I wouldn't limit the volume. What I learned is that this turned into a detox more than it led me to the Lord.

From Saturday through Friday I consumed about $40 worth of produce - and camomile tea, dried basil and dried cilantro (I don't know why, they're just my favorite herbs). There wasn't much method to my shopping. I allowed unlimited fruit including: grapes, bananas, kiwi, oranges, grapefruit, pears and apples. Then I added in the vegetables available to me at Modern Food Center: beets, red cabbage, leeks, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, mushrooms and spinach. I decided to exclude potatoes and avocados.

All week when I would feel hungry I thought it would remind me to pray, or I guess I had hoped the hunger would help remind me to pay attention to how the Lord was leading our lives. As it turns out, I wasn't able to focus at all. In fact, I slept in most days and went to bed early because I didn't have much energy. This wasn't what I had intended.

I admit the whole approach was a bit misguided, but I ended the week realizing my failure to prioritize the Lord more than usual. I was constantly thinking about myself and my life and my plans and my purpose, but very rarely did I take a hunger pang as an opportunity to pay attention to how the Lord is working, is present and does have a plan.

This morning Dominic and I listened to a sermon in which Annie Dillard was quoted:

How we spend our days is how we live our lives.

May my days be spent paying attention.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You left out any source of protein???? No wonder we didn't hear from must not have had enough energy to talk :)