Saturday, January 15, 2011

Daniel Fast: Day 8 - Without God's Spirit inside me, I'm not as nice I might seem.

It's been a few days since I posted, but I am happy to report that the headache is mostly gone.

On Thursday, I had to be at SDSU at 9:10 for new Teacher Associate Orientation.  One of my internships allows me to play a role in mentoring these new TAs.  I hadn't slept well that night, and when I woke up, my head hurt nearly as badly as it had on Tuesday, and I got a slow start.  Plus, I needed to pick up bagels and coffee from Einstein.  It looked like I wasn't going to make it on time, and I really started to stress out.

I asked Duane if he could pick up the bagels to give myself a little more time to get ready, and he graciously dropped what he was doing and left in my car.  In less than five minutes.  Which is pretty spectacular.

I got a call maybe fifteen minutes later.  Duane told me the car was gassed and suggested I meet him at Einsteins and he could hand off the bagels to me and swap cars so I would make it on time.

Fortunately I had finished getting ready and had all my books ready to go.

As I drove over, I could feel my stress level rising.  I sat a light for far too long.  The car in front of me drove too slowly.  I waited for pedestrians to cross the street.

And I got irritated.  Apparently Duane stopped to get gas.  I know he meant well, and it was true my car was mostly on empty, but I didn't have time for that.  I needed to get moving.

A week of headaches had taken its toll, and I had nothing left.  No grace.  No kindness.  No good will.

Wow.  Nearly a week of fasting had come to that.  Instead of thanksgiving for a husband who dropped his work to help me get to school on time, instead of relief that I wouldn't run of out of gas (and it really was a possibility), I was annoyed.

And if you're reading this and wondering how I could be so thankless, I am too.  I could just chalk it up to a bad headache, and I'm sure that played a role, but that doesn't take away responsibility for the bad attitude.  Confronted by weakness and my tendency to get really ugly, I wondered how I could face a group of new TAs with a smile.  I'm an  introvert by nature, and when I'm in a bad mood, I'm really awkward with new people.

At that moment, driving over to Einstein's, I did the only think I could do.  I began praying, asking God to forgive me for my attitude and to fill me with his Spirit.  That's the only way I could face the day.  On my own, I'm not as nice as I might seem.

And I suppose that's the deal.  It's obvious that I need God's power when I'm running on empty or I've got a headache or I think I'm over my head.  But I need God to live inside me even when it's not obvious.

Fortunately, I was in a better mood by the time I got to Einstein's.  But not by much.  I prayed and fought that anxious feeling all the way to SDSU, arrived at 9:11, which isn't bad, and got to the orientation on time.  Tired and with a headache, but pleasant.

The headache dissipated by lunchtime.  And mostly hasn't been back.

Fasting's not easy, but it forces me to depend on God.  To talk to him.  To ask him for help.  I suppose that's a pretty good thing.

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