(For those interested, First Baptist Church in North East, PA has put up a blog regarding this week-long fast. Although they used a somewhat, ahem, inferior blog site, they can be found at: http://breakthroughfbcne.blogspot.com/2012/03/preparing-for-change.html). It’s a great devotional to use while fasting, and has encouraging thoughts to go along with the day’s post.
Regarding our fast, Beth and I each noticed Friday (Day One: water only) that our own breath was pretty bad. I suspect it is related to the fast, and I’m thinking that by not chewing food, we are not cleansing our mouths of the bacteria that likes to live there, but that’s just a guess. It reminded me of some information I had heard of Gandhi. Gandhi, as most people know, was instrumental in the independence of India from England. What I heard was that due to his walking everywhere, he had massive calluses on his feet, and that due to his fasting so often, he was inclined to poor health. Further, his religion wasn’t strictly Hindu, but there was a bit of mysticism thrown in there as well. And the part that reminded me of this story is that he suffered from chronic bad breath. The story concluded with the thought that Gandhi was a super-callused, fragile mystic, plagued with halitosis. (Anyone not catching that right away, see the note at the end of this post.)
So far this has been interesting. Speaking first about the physical issues, I find that the hunger hasn’t been as all-consuming as I had feared. Yeah, I’m hungry, but that’s ok. What I had been concerned about was the caffeine withdrawal. God is good, no terrible headaches this time. Bit of a headache Friday and Saturday, but manageable. Same with the kidneys. I remember my kidneys aching badly for four days the first year, and maybe the second year as well. So far this year, not so bad. Still achy a bit, but not crushing me.
Mentally, it has been a bit frustrating. I have felt a bit “fuzzy,” not really as sharp as I would like. I notice a difference with my thought processes, I feel like I’m lagging about a half of a second behind stuff going on around me. I know there are those that would ask me what the difference is from usual, and that they believe this to be the norm for me. I would dispute that. I think they’re just jealous. 🙂
Spiritually, I must confess its been a mixed bag. I have remembered to pray when I felt the hunger, so I have prayed often. That’s a good thing. And mostly, it’s been positive, thanking God for His goodness, praising Him for who he is, thanking Him for being able to fast for Him. Friends and family have been getting prayed for, too. The down side is that I have been a bit cranky from time to time. I’m pretty sure it’s due to low blood sugar, which I have a tendency toward anyhow. It’s weird. in times past, I will come home, or be around the house, and apparently acting crabby. Beth will ask when I last had something to something, and I will crank out an answer, usually something like, “I don’t know, leave me alone. I’m not hungry.” To which she replies not with words, but gets of a bit of cheese or something from the fridge, and stuffs it in my mouth. The effects usually don’t take long to notice, I can usually feel it in a couple of minutes. It feels like there’s pressure behind my eyes, and as the food begins digestion, it feels like the pressure is letting up. I feel lighter somehow. And less crabby. Which pleases Beth no end.
So I have been snapping a bit more than I like the past few days. God has been good in that as well, I have recognized crankiness faster than usual, and have prayed about that also, letting go sooner than is often the case.
The fast hasn’t really disrupted my routine too badly, either. I spent Friday and Saturday doing my normal routine. Friday was a regular day at work, doing “boss” stuff, keeping up with paperwork and email. The smell of coffee and others having lunch was a bit disconcerting, but nothing I couldn’t deal with. Around noon, my two Lieutenants went for lunch. They invited me along for Chinese, and I had to decline. Angela asked if I were dieting, and I told her, “kinda,” to which she looked puzzled and asked how one “kind of” diets. I then told her I was fasting. She got that, and turned to leave. Eric, however, laughed himself silly. He gets it, too, but has a sense of humor that is a bit, uh, tilted? (And yes, this is the pot calling the kettle black) Like most guys, if he finds something a bit different, he’ll “bust chops” about it forever. He knows my faith, though, and I don’t think this’ll be that kind of topic. Even if it is, no biggie. He makes me laugh, so I don’t anticipate this being any different.
So Beth and I are adjusting, and using this time to praise God and pray. I want to do this for the correct reasons, and not just because I love a challenge. I love God more, and even though this has been a bit difficult, I am grateful for the opportunity to devote the time to He who gives all good things.
Now as I promised earlier, if you didn’t catch the reference at the beginning of this post, watch this: http://youtu.be/WSX9ms04mhA. Ok, if you just insert the words, “Super-callused fragile mystic plagued with halitosis.” Yep, I love it. And as punners around the world know,other peoples’ groans are but music to my ears…