As part of my spiritual journey, one which has ebbed and flowed at various times during my life, sometimes burning with intensity, other times smouldering with barely a flicker of flame or a wisp of smoke, I have decided to commit to a 40 day fast.
I have come to realize that I have been putting other things in my life before God. Now I intent to LAY them before God. After a bit of introspection, I have identified the following three things that have become stumbling blocks or dependencies in my life:
1) Caffeine. I put waaay too much time and effort into maintaining a level of caffeination that my body can simply no longer tolerate. I lurch from cup of coffee to soda to coffee to “get me through the day.” It has become my stumbling block, and I’m depending on IT when I should be depending on God. So, for the next 40 days, no caffeine.
2) Sugar. Processed, nasty sugar. I have identified some ongoing health issues, probably Candida or some variant of Celiac’s Disease, and sugar is a fermenting, yeast producing nasty that my body can do without. And since I’ve discovered that I am a “comfort eater,” I tend to put back a lot of sugary sweets during times of stress. Which these days is most of the time. Again, it is my crutch, my dependency, my replacement for the work of God in my life, so for the next 40 days, it goes.
3) Blogging. What used to be fun has devolved into pounding out negative, critical screeds replete with the very kind of huffy-puffy indignation and self-indulgent posturing one would expect from a DailyKos’r or HuffPo columnist. And that’s not me. At least, I certainly don’t WANT it to be me. It has begun to take away time from work, my family, and any hope I might have of quality devotional time. So not only will I not be blogging myself, I will not be reading or commenting on other blogs. I need to go cold turkey. I doubt I’ll ever quit entirely, but I need to get myself back on track, and find my muse, so to speak. So for the next 40 days, no blogging.
I once had a strong and growing web ministry via my writings. I was touching peoples’ lives and bringing them the message of Hope to be found in Jesus Christ. I was repeatedly blessed by emails from people who read something that God had given me, and it had spoken to some struggle or challenge that they had been facing in their own life. How exciting, and how humbling!
Problem is, I haven’t been doing that for quite some time now.
It is what I have always felt I’ve been called to do. I may never plant a church, become a missionary, or preach from a pulpit, but I believe God has gifted me to use my writing to touch hearts and souls, to shine the light of Christ in those dark corners we fear, or hope, no one else knows about. But God knows, and he uses every tool at his disposal to reach into those places and do the work that needs to be done. I like to think that at times I’ve been an instrument in his hands, helping to heal what was hurt, repair what was broken, perhaps bringing reconciliation where before there was only estrangement.
I want to begin to do that again.
So, since sundown last night, to use the Judaic model, I began my fast. 40 days, committed to the Lord, to reclaim that which has been lost, or at least buried. To re-energize my Walk, and to rekindle the flames of ministry which I have let die.
My hope, and my prayer, is that as God teaches me, leads me, and guides me through this time, that I can share those lessons and struggles here in such a way that others can be blessed by them as well.
So, off we go!