“Fasting looks like an enemy to life, but the opposite is true. We live abundantly only if we know how to fast—which is to say, only if we are disciplined to wait until the feast is ready. Lent trains us to be a people of patience and restraint, a people who rejoices in a God who has time and gives us time and makes us wait for the treasures He gives. Lent trains us to follow the Master who kept the fast.” – Peter J. Leithart
Lent is most often know as a time of self-sacrifice and the “giving up” of some favorable habit that makes one rely more steadily on God. It is also a time of repentance, and a process of hungering more deeply for our Redeemer. Not everyone participates in the Lenten season, and many don’t even know it exists. This year, I decided instead of “giving up” something material, I would attempt to fast on the self-consumption of my heart. This is a little more difficult to purge than chocolate or caffeine. Clearing room in your heart for more of everybody else but the body, mind, and soul you reside in, is hard. Almost everything I was doing, seemed to be self-focused and self-interested. I know it is not really tangible or even feasible to fast from selfishness, but I thought I would at least start with training myself to follow more of my Master who as Pete J. Leithart says, “kept the fast”. Was I a person of patience and restraint? Did I rejoice in a God who was making me wait for the treasures of life? I think the above quote from Leithart nails it. So, I decided to spend the next 40 days, chasing the Master of the fast and the feast. What does this mean? I don’t fully know. But what I do know, is that I spent most of my time rushing around to do what I wanted to do, rather than listening to what God was asking me to do. This past week, everytime I thought I heard God’s voice, I would stop and write it down. And then, I did it! To be honest, it’s be somewhat emotionally exhausting but extremely gratifying too. A week later, I have a greater appetite for the word of God and His direction in my life, than I did a few weeks ago. I am not waiting to feast on self-absorption again at the end of the season, but I am looking forward to feasting more on what God has in store for my life, and the lives of those He has surrounded me with. May we crave to feast more on Him this season.
Thanks to my pastor Sam for helping me understand the meaning behind Lent.