Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Daniel Fast Day 14-16: The Wall

It's 5:00 in the morning on Tuesday, and I'm thanking God for waking me on time.  I still have some lesson planning, and I want to get out of here by 7:15.  Plus, I need to make oatmeal.

But I haven't written in a while, and I think I need to.  Mostly because I want to remember The Wall.

Most of my posts have been personal.  Things I'm seeing about myself.  Or they have talked about fasting.  And mostly I've been sort of spiritual and reflective.

On Thursday, which I think was Day 13, I had a fabulous day.  The first day of school.  I drove to SDSU, a little nervous, would I connect with my students?  I prayed a lot, asking the Lord to fill me with his Spirit and empower me to teach.  I encountered several obstacles, but the Lord gave me wisdom to deal with them, and then I stayed around and ran into several of the TAs from last semester.  Definitely a great day.

And then Friday I hit the wall.  I decided I was done fasting.  No, I didn't quit, but I was done.

And the thing was, I still didn't miss meat.  I still didn't miss coffee.

I wanted to have a piece of dessert at the end of the day.  I wanted a small slice of bread.  I wanted a glass of wine with dinner.  I wanted someone else to cook me dinner.  Planning and cooking vegan meals takes a lot of time.  And I wanted to throw off the restrictions.

And so I didn't read my Bible on Friday.  Or on Saturday.

And then I got into a fight with Duane.  (Yes, we still have arguments.)
And then Cheddar ate rat poisoning, and I freaked out.  I worried, but I forgot to pray until late in the evening.

On Sunday, I spent a lot of time reading the Bible, praying, and journaling, telling God what was going on, and asking him for forgiveness and wisdom and peace.

I realized my spirit was empty, and I longed for God's Spirit to come in and fill me.  I can't do that myself.  Only the grace of God allows me to be something more than just me.

I also realized that fasting, with the restrictions and the time-consuming preparations, had ceased to be about seeking God and more about living a certain lifestyle.  And that's always the danger.

Sometimes we get to involved in being Christians, going to church, living "godly" lives, that we forgot to seek God and follow him.  The thing is, we will live godly lives as we follow him.  The two lives look very similar from the outside, but from the inside, they couldn't be more different.

So on the outside, I was fasting, but on the inside, I was merely following a set of rules.  Fasting isn't for rules.  It's for surrender to the living God.

And that's what I did on Sunday morning before church.
Sunday was a much better day.

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