“Create in me a clean heart, O God!” Lutheran Fasting, Part 2

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” –Psalm 51
heart clouds

I fasted yesterday. I can tell you about it, because I’m not currently fasting, right? I don’t know the rules for this more than anybody else does, but for someone who is curious about this Jesus-endorsed practice, I wanted to share how it went. Another fact that I find amazing and interesting (kind of like stem cells!) is that periodic fasting can literally clean out your arteries. It can create, in us, a CLEAN heart in many ways. Read a study here for more info on that phenomenon.

Yesterday, of course, was Ash Wednesday, and Christians have a long history of abstaining from all food, or most food, this holy day. I didn’t know this when I first fasted; it just seemed like the right thing to do.

So here’s what happened:
6:30 a.m. Wakeup. I drank some coffee. What? Do you think Jesus wants me to not be a HUMAN BEING?

7:30 to 9:45: Working at home. So far, so good.

9:45 to 10:45: Weight lifting class at the Y. Drank LOTS of water and actually felt kind of awesome.

11:30 Uh oh. Perhaps should not have gone to that class today. Drink more water.

1 p.m. Eat a piece of dry toast and an Emergen-C so I can get thru the day after the class. Feel much better.

6 p.m. Eat two bowls of soup at the Lenten supper and a GF Brownie (Thank you, kitchen lady!). Feel AWESOME. Food is the best thing EVER!

7:30 p.m. Lead worship and preach at night with more energy than usual.

9:30 p.m. Home. Eat more toast. Yum.

That’s what a 24 hour fast looks like, at least for me. As the article says above, there are certain recommendations, and I’ll add a few. Don’t do this if you have any history with eating disorders. Just don’t. Jesus loves you just the way you are and you can add something else for Lent. Diabetics are also supposed to not skip meals. I’m sure there are some other recommendations, but I am NOT a doctor and this does not constitute medical advice, or something!

How I felt during the day was like I have felt when I have done long runs. Your body goes into an interesting sort of survival mode, and you are surprisingly okay. When you do eat food, like my toast or soup, it tastes AMAZING. Today, as I’m actually eating things, I appreciate every little bit of them. Spiritually, there are definite benefits. I wasn’t nervous about my sermon at all last night and actually for the first time EVER, did not write a WORD down before delivering it. It’s like my brain was distracted, so I could focus on what really mattered.

And isn’t that what Lent is about?


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