So this week, to break up the four 23-hour fasts I normally do during the work-week, I did a 46-hour fast. I am not maintaining much lost weight yet, but at least I saw a number on the scale I have not seen in a while, so that is something. Part of the problem is that I am struggling to cut out the last of the carbs, especially some refined carbs, from my diet. Another is probably that a medication I am on has an effect on blood sugar and insulin.
Either way, I am continuing with the plan, adding in some longer fasts to try and breakthrough the weight plateau I am on. During my recently completed 46-hour fast, I got a tiny foretaste of why our forefathers considered fasting a purifying experience. I won’t say I felt energized, as many people do, but I did feel moved to be closer to God and less close to matters of the stomach.
I think many of us today, being atomized by elements of our society and surrounded by food 24/7, begin to replace other good things with the food we originally associated with it. Food supplants family, friends, and community in our hearts, until each of these more important things becomes little more than an excuse for shoveling crud down our throats. We are addicts adrift in a veritable sea of what we are addicted to, so that anyone who wants to can eat themselves to an early grave, confidently ashamed that it is all our own faults (when it isn’t.)
It is somewhat similar to how many of us treat the internet and internet-enabled apps. We get into a state of relentless consumption, and replace what we originally wanted with a fake substitute. So while I fast, on breaks and during lunch, instead of surfing the web, I have taken to reading the Bible. If I have to consume something, let it be God’s library of love letters, instruction manuals, histories, and narratives. After all, if He made me, He certainly is capable of sustaining me in my daily needs through what He has written to me.
Or, as a better man once said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God,” (Matthew 4:4).