Tag Archives: food

Food and Fasting

I Love Food

Pardon me again for taking so long between posts. Every so often, life get busy and I get behind and need to catch up.
Today’s post is kind of a stream of consciousness based on where I think God’s been speaking to me.

I think Jesus has really been speaking to me about things that need to change in my life – places that need a touch of holiness, if you will. The one that’s been a surprise to me lately is my attitude toward food.

I’ve struggled with my weight most of my life, and the struggle has only gotten worse as I’ve gotten older. This is probably a big “duh” to anyone knows me, but I love food too much. Although my body shows clear evidence the other way, I’ve tended to convince myself that I’m not really eating that much and that even if I am overeating a bit, it’s not that big a deal.

Here’s where it comes back to worship for me. I’ve read and heard plenty on the topic of fasting from a spiritual discipline perspective and I have yet to hear anyone talk about how fasting should affect your eating habits. Richard Foster comes the closest in “Celebration of Discipline”. I’ve heard many suggestions that the point is for you to pray instead of eating. I think this kind of misses the point, and this is a case where I think maybe some people I’ve read in the health & exercise genre have it a little more right. I’ve read a few books that speak of the physical benefits of fasting on a regular basis. I read practically none that made a clear, intertwined link between the two until I ran across “The No Breakfast Plan and the Fasting-Cure“, written in 1900 by Dr. Edward Hooker Dewey.
I think this is just a reflection of how tightly linked Christianity was with American culture, but Dr. Dewey seemed to take seriously the link gluttony and American eating habits and the usefulness of fasting in breaking that addiction. He also happened to think fasting would effectively cure alcoholism. I suppose it’s possible he was just plain wrong on both counts, but the anecdotes of patients seem to bear witness to his ideas. I feel like this shouldn’t be strange given the way Paul would talk about his body in the Bible. He wrote about treating his body roughly to be made worthy. Sometimes I wonder what thing Paul would focus on if he wrote an Epistle to The Americans. I don’t think he could help saying something about our tendency to overfeed.

Back on topic though, I’m really seeing a link now between my overeating and other ways I actively avoid being alone with God. I’ve fasted before for about a day at a time, but this past week, after finishing Dr. Dewey’s book and taking sometime to really reflect on it with Jesus, I decided I may give a more extended fast a try. In the meantime though, I’ve cut way back on my eating, per his recommendation and have not been eating til around dinnertime. I’ve been surprised how much different life looks – how much new beauty I’ve noticed when my stomach isn’t constantly digesting something. It hasn’t all been easy or euphoric, though honestly it’s been really good at times. There are times I just feel kind of strange, but at the same time, I’ve felt more at ease too – less like a slave, I suppose; more content.

I guess I’m rambling now, but I think the point is, worship is a way of life and it should affect your whole life. I think this is one area Jesus is pressing into to heal and make me more like him so I can live his life through mine.

Feedback is welcome. If you think I’m off my rocker, you’re free to say so. What about you? Is there something you think Jesus my be pressing into with you that you might not consider overtly “sin?”