Thursday, March 17, 2016

UGH! This Fast is Killing Me!

Today’s Reading is from Proverbs 3:1-18 - My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments; for length of days and years of life and abundant welfare will they give you. Let not loyalty and faithfulness forsake you; bind them about your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.  So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.  Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.  It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. Honor the Lord with your substance and with the first fruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights. Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gets understanding, for the gain from it is better than gain from silver and its profit better than gold.  She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her.  Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor.  Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.  She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called happy.
It has ONLY been three days and I’m pretty sure you’re already feeling the burden of fasting. You’re hungry and bored of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches already. You may even be wondering if the fast is worth your time. Don’t worry. We ALL feel this way just as the fast is starting out.  It may not happen today, but it WILL happen sometime during Great Lent. Even the most experienced will suffer a bit of fatigue during Great Lent.

That is why I thought the reading from Proverbs was so helpful. “For length of days and years of life and abundant welfare will they give you.” Fasting if done with prayer and attention to the spiritual warfare in which we are engaged WILL give you great benefit. All you have to do is remain committed and “let not your loyalty and faithfulness forsake you.” Great Lent is a spiritual war, and like with all wars there will be successful days and not-so-successful days. The point is to push ahead for the victory at Pascha.

Today might be a good day to evaluate your menu choices for the fast. If you are feeling tired and cranky, you might need to make some adjustments for nutrition. Remember fasting is NOT supposed to get you sick, but there are alternatives to your menu choices that will provide for proper nutrition AND still maintain the fast. You just may need to put in a little extra effort. Speak with your Spiritual Father and other experienced “fasters” and seek their advice. One of the great benefits to fasting AS A CHURCH is to benefit from centuries of experience.

No comments: