Fasting & Feasting

Remember this post I wrote about Lent?

Back then I admitted studying Lent was a new thing for me. I now realize Lent centers around fasting to purposefully prepare for the sorrow and sacrifice of the crucifixion. The book A Place at the Table: 40 Days of Solidarity with the Poor focuses on fasting in our culture while thinking about the poor around the world.

This summer during camp I gave a talk about prayer. One of the illustrations I used to show the Lord’s sovereignty when he answers prayer had to do with ice cream. I explained to the campers how much I love ice cream. ((A lot)) But even if I told the Lord that I would be eternally satisfied if I had a lifetime supply of ice cream, He would know that would not be for my good or for His glory. Everyone agreed that this never-ending supply of my favorite ice cream in my freezer would be devastating. It would be unhealthy physically, because I know I would lack self-control. It would be unhealthy relationally, because I would probably be selfish and greedy with my ice cream supply.

((photo credit))

One night when I was on stage sharing this story, it hit me. I already have an unlimited supply of ice cream. The grocery stores around here are always fully stocked with any kind of ice cream I can imagine. (Except Walmart of course. Just kidding!) Sure it takes money to buy this ice cream, but let’s face it. I can make a way to buy food. I can basically choose whatever colorful goody I would like to eat this week, for every meal.

The majority of the world does not live like this.

I came to a late realization that my illustration was flawed. The point, however, remains the same. I still think God knows it is not healthy for us to have this much stuff, even if it is food.

The thing is, I just do not think about food this way. Not until I fast. Fasting helps me focus more deeply.

Before I get too extreme and force everyone to go on an eternal beans and rice diet, today is Sunday. In traditional Lent, Sundays are for feasting. I always saw that as a cop-out. Oh sure, those people just don’t have the discipline to make it the whole 40 days. News flash:: Lent is actually 46 days. The 40 days excludes Sundays. Ignorance.

Still, it was hard for me to understand this concept of “feasting.” I get that fasting is a discipline, but feasting is too?

Just like God commands fasting, God also commands feasting. Feasting does not equal gluttony. Gluttony is always sin, even on Sundays during Lent. The perspective is to enjoy God’s blessings. The best picture of this I have is Christmas with my family. My uncle sees cooking as an art, and makes the most delicious dishes colorfully spread across the table. I love those meals, surrounded by unconditional love in every direction. We rejoice in the Lord’s faithfulness in our lives, even the trials and pains. The feast is deeper and richer than the food we eat.

I love that Lent combines fasting with feasting. Chris Seay (author of the book I keep talking about), talks about feasting in the context of Mother Teresa. Clearly, Mother Teresa fasted. She surrendered her entire life, luxuries included, to give herself fully to the people she shared the love of God with. In biographies later, it came out that Mother Teresa, of all people, deeply doubted the Lord’s love for her. That shocks me. Seay suggests that she never took time to enjoy the Lord’s blessings. (read:: feasting)

My mind has been reeling with this discovery the past few weeks. God chose both. Fasting and feasting. I encourage you to feast today. Enjoy the Lord’s blessings. Remember His faithfulness.

My feasting today includes one of these:

((photo credit))

I’m slightly obsessed with Izze drinks. They also make perfect flower vases after you drink all that fizzy delicious-ness!

One thought on “Fasting & Feasting

  1. Pingback: For Lent | the color of sunshine

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