Friday, March 13, 2015

Fasting and failing

Today I am fasting.  

Oh, it's not like I'm going without food for 40 days or anything, I'm just skipping ONE MEAL for goodness sake.

Today I am failing.

Today I yelled at Will when the bus was here and he couldn't find the note he needed for school.. the note I had written just a few minutes before.

Today Richard told me I didn't need to yell... and so I yelled at him too.

Today I can't comfort myself with food.  I must deal with my sin on an empty stomach.

So I asked for forgiveness from Will.  I asked for forgiveness from Richard. And I asked for forgiveness from God--the only one who sees the yucky stuff that I am able to hide from others most of the time, but not today.

Then since I couldn't eat, I vacuumed the couch. (I cannot explain this.) What I found was the yucky stuff that had slipped between the cracks.  No matter how many times I have tidied the living room the past few weeks, I have missed the stale popcorn and fuzzy jelly beans under the cushions.  It's much easier to straighten the pillows than to deal with the stuff underneath, but that stuff never goes away on it's own.  It has to be uncovered and swept away. 

Fasting does that too.  It reveals the yucky stuff that I manage to hide most days. It's easy to hide my irritability and self-centeredness... until I'm hungry apparently. But when what is hidden inside comes out and yells at my family, it's time to deal with it.  It's time to admit it's there.  It's time to call it what it is. It's time to realize that as clean as I get the outside of the cup, the inside is what needs a good washing.
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. "(Matt. 23:25-26)

Good news! Along with the yucky stuff in the couch, I also found Audra's Ipod that she has been searching for. 

Fasting doesn't just reveal what you are trying to hide, it also reveals what you are searching for. It helps you find your satisfaction in God rather than food. It helps you focus on what is important. It's a reminder that man does not live on bread alone. It's a way to show myself that I want God more than I want a bowl of cereal. 

You satisfy me more than the richest of foods. I will praise you with songs of joy. (Psalm 63:5)