I have discovered something the last few days of our Daniel fast.
And I guess that’s the point. I am denying myself food that I really enjoy. I am telling my physical self to lay low so that my spiritual self can rise up.
So often I tend to cater to my physical self. I let it decide what I do or don’t do. When my physical self decides I am hungry, I eat. It says it wants chicken fingers, special sauce, fries and a coke with that wonderful crushed ice from Guthrie’s so that’s what it gets.
When my physical self tells me it’s too tired to go do something, anything, I sit instead of doing. Now it tells me it is bored with the food I am offering it. Well, la-ti-dah.
I learned a long time ago that I really don’t have to listen to my physical body. Ask anyone who’s ever worked night shift. You can manage on much less sleep than you think you can. I used to insist on eight hours of sleep a night. I got really uptight if anything tried to interfere with that regimen.
When you work night shift, ideally you come home from work in the morning and hit the bed. But what if your kid is home sick from school that day? Well, you tell your physical body that sleep for you will have to wait. I have gone thirty-six, even forty-eight hours without sleep. It can be done.
It’s hard for us to deny ourselves anything these days. We buy into the lie that we deserve whatever it is we are wanting. “I worked hard today at work, I deserve to have that bag of M&Ms from the candy machine on my way out of the building.” (I actually have that conversation with myself.) But there are bigger, more lucrative things we tell ourselves we deserve. Some of those things end up costing us big both physically and emotionally.
Speaking of emotionally, our emotional self can get us into trouble, too. Our emotional self tell us we deserve to be happy all the time. Did you notice the Bible never says that once? Not once. What the Bible tells us is that we can be joyful in all things. Even the things that make us unhappy.
Sometimes we trade what is right for what makes us happy in an attempt to feed our emotional self.
Only in the end, the happiness fades and we still find we’ve made the wrong choice.
I’m only five days into this prayer and fasting thing. I may not make it without catering some to my physical self, but I hope to stick it out enough that my spiritual self can rise to the top for a change. I am feeding it as much spiritual food as I can right now. I want it to grow stronger than my physical self and my emotional self.
I want to be guided by the part of me that leans into God, wants to follow in His ways. I want to hear more clearly what it is He wants my physical body to do. I want to feel in my heart what He wants my emotional self to feel.
So boring food it is. What’s for breakfast? This nice trail mix bar full of… I’m not sure what… oats and barley and other grainy looking things. I just noticed there’s no chocolate chunks in there like I like….