Original Posting At http://revmhj.com/blog//lent-2018-day-3
One of my closest friends practices fasting better than anyone I’ve ever met. Nearly every year during Lent, he fasts from food for six days in a row, eats on the Sabbath, and begins again the following day. I recently asked him to write about this practice, but being more Scripturally and spiritually attuned than I am, he begged off. Still, feeling there was value in others being able to read about this practice and with the possibility that others might even try to fast for a day for the first time in their lives, I convinced him to do it anonymously on my blog. He’s going to keep a sort of diary each day and I’m going to share it here. I hope you find my friend’s journey exciting and convicting.
Friday, February 16, 2018 Day 3 of Lent
Today was a struggle, mostly because of my back pain. My back goes out occasionally, and this was one of those times. I’ve taken muscle relaxers the past few days, so my head has been cloudy and I can’t think like I would like. I went to my General Practitioner today because he is a DO and has adjusted me before with success. He adjusted me, but we also talked about medication. Due to my fasting, I’m not really able to take what he suggested because it would tear up my stomach. If I need to stop fasting in order to get better, I will, but for now I want to try to continue. Luckily my doctor is a practicing Catholic, so the notion of fasting was not a new one. He made a remark about how he complains about having to eat fish, then laughed.
The thing about my back is it’s funny because this is not the first time this sort of thing has happened during my fasting period. The first time I did my major fast in Lent, there was a terrible division that finally broke to the surface at the church I was serving. It was pretty brutal. I’ve had back issues during Lent a few times, but I’ve also had irritating things, like parsonage repairs that sprang up in a house that is really in pretty good shape. I guess it’s just a reminder of the spiritual side to what is going on. It’s a battle.
My prayer has been pretty good. I am keeping to praying four times a day, and that rhythm starts to be a helpful thing. This morning there was a reading from Matthew 5 where Jesus says if our eye causes us to sin we ought to pluck it out. I felt a twinge of guilt as I considered how much time I was browsing online. Nothing scandalous. Social media. Sports sites. Finance. But how much time do I waste? I need to keep my browser shut unless I have reason to check email or something. So already the work has begun. Chipping away at me.
Finally, as to hunger, it’s not been too bad. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to eat, but my hunger has not been terrible. This is the third day of the fast, so by tomorrow my body will be quite a ways into adjusting to this new thing. I’ve lost around 8 lbs already. The weight loss is always bigger in the beginning. Then my body wises up and tries to hang on to all the calories it can. Also, I’ll gain a few pounds on my eating days.