40 Day Fast
I have walked something out in my mind and with my feet by the grace of God. Since 2008 I wanted to do a 40 day water only fast and could only accomplish 21 to 24 days. The grueling thought of week after week of not eating and watching people take part in the most delicious meals ever cooked was too much. 39 days ago Create Church started a 21-day prayer schedule and I decide to fast and pray. Every time I have started a 21 day fast (which has been 10 to 12 times) I have had the thought of going 40 days, but I have not ever felt the grace to make it that long. This time there was something different,but at this moment I cannot put my finger on what was different. To me doing a water fast is not about the absence of food in my life but the emotional wear and tear of not being able to engage in the breakfasts, snacks, lunch, brunch, dinner and desserts. It is much more emotional than physical. I sit here on day 39 and will walk over the threshold of 40 in the coming hours, I feel like there have been many victories. I have had to control my energy through the 40 days. I have worked every day and tried not to walk around like I am ailing or for people to make special provisions for me. I have lost a significant amount of weight. I did not weigh myself on the first couple of days because I did not want to make the weight a significant aspect of the tearing away of one of the most vital elements to a humans existence, Food. I know my normal weight at the time was around 220 and I did weigh myself today and I am at 181. In the final days I needed to supplement with some broth to make sure I stayed in a safe zone. I wore a suit to work today that I bought in 2007. I got a haircut and shaved my beard at the time the weight started falling off, so I looked different. Many people would say, “you shaved” or “you got a haircut” and it allowed me to say yes to keep the integrity of my words congruent.
Why would I do this to my family and myself? My life is very comfortable and the idea of suffering is not as real to me as it is in other people & cultures. In the bible, it says that Jesus learned obedience through suffering. How could I learn obedience if I did not suffer? I needed to self impose some sort of resistance to my life. So removing the sustenance of life seemed like a great way to buffet my mind. All that I usually want to eat is easily accessible in my refrigerator or at the nearest drive thru, easily ordered through my window.
I also had things that I wanted to see happen, so this time allowed me to redirect my hunger toward those things. I have children that are entering into teenage years of their life and I have prayed for them to be all they are called to be. They are entering into a new dimension in their lives and I believe that as a father I have to pray for them so that I can be a help to them instead of a hindrance. I prayed for my marriage. I want to be a better husband every day and many days I fail in getting better. I have such a maverick aspect to me that makes me hard on my wonderful lady. One last major focus during this time has been the idea of building a church. There are so many aspects to this that seem daunting if you really consider all the pieces that have to line up to make this happen.
So I have cooked many meals, sat at dinners and looked at more meals on social media than I could ever count. The pizza delivery man followed me every time that I got in my car to go anywhere and the Jimmy John folks are so fast that I think I saw them delivering sandwiches. My family has watched me every day and supported me as much as they knew how.
The normal pregnancy term is exactly 40 weeks and although I only did 40 days, I feel I am going to give birth to a new life filled with an unbelievable purpose. I know that it may not be understandable and I believe that the greatest things that we do in our lives, most people do not understand. As you pursue your own unique purpose in your life, do it with your full commitment. Do not waiver and never give up. The growth that you allow yourself to experience will be forever used in your life. You can help others with the ideas and things that you picked up by pushing yourself beyond your limits. I thank you for reading this and hope it inspires you to be radical in your life for what God calls you to steward.