I grew up in a competitive neighborhood, with several talented athletes. Every summer we had races to see who was the fastest. Although I did lose to a girl once, most of the time I was a step quicker than everyone else. This environment led me to become long distance runner, finding my niche in cross country. Perhaps this may explain why I have become an impatient adult, always in a hurry to get to no where.
“Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; Joel 2:12.
In recent years, my paths have crossed with several individuals who fast at the beginning of each calendar year. Since I enjoy eating, this spiritual discipline hasn’t come easy, more painful than beneficial. Some friends have passed on helpful resources like books written by Jentzeen Franklin to help me get over the proverbial hump. Yet, my heart hasn’t been ready to commit to this until now.
When I wept and humbled my soul with fasting, it became my reproach, Psalm 69:10.
While my current weight, the heaviest ever is one motivating factor, another reason to begin a fast is to pave a clear path for my future. After listening to a few sermons in December, I found the easiest fast if there is such a thing is a Daniel Fast, twenty one days of eating fruits, vegetables and forgoing soft drinks for water. Based upon Daniel’s experience during his captivity in Babylon, at the end of this period Daniel and his friends appeared healthier than those who ate the king’s food. Thus, as I ease my way into this fast, I wait in eager expectation of the insight and life lessons the Lord will teach me over this 21 day journey. If the timing is right, you can start as similar fast any time throughout 2016.
by Jay Mankus