Since the summer began I’ve been fasting Pepsi. This would seem like an odd thing to fast to most people. I gave that and MSN up for this past Lent also. I’m not saying this to brag, heck, its Pepsi. So far for the summer I’ve been clean, not bad considering there is only a few weeks left. I’ve resorted to a Sprite every once in a while or on a slurpee run maybe a Orange Crush. Nothing is like an ice cold Pepsi, in a can. I’ve done other fasts before. I went vegetarian for a month cause me and some friends were wondering what it would be like to date a vegetarian, so we figured we just try to be the vegetarian. I don’t think I liked it very much. It wasn’t a spiritual reason at all. I say that cause I’m not trying to push my spiritual ego at all, I’m just explaining the different things I’ve tried.
Fasting is an interesting concept. We eliminate something of priority and importance in our lives. The reasons we do this are limitless. Maybe they are physical reasons or spiritual ones or emotional reasons. Some people fast because it teaches them self-control, some fast cause its tradition, others because it teaches priorities. I don’t think there is a right or wrong reason to fast all the time. I think it’s definitely a good thing to do though. It teaches us a lot and is simply one of those disciplines that help us encounter the mysteries of God.
I don’t think I ever feel ‘closer’ to God when I fast. I probably feel further away now. Sometimes I feel closer to Pepsi than I feel to God. It does though teach me self-control. It teaches me to not take for granted the blessings of my culture. It teaches me that some things just aren’t necessary. It teaches me priority and stewardship. I don’t think the point of fasting is the food, or the Pepsi or the MSN. The point is that you realize that the point is greater than you and a piece of meat. The point is that there has got to be some kind of mystery to separating ourselves from something that is helpful for us. Sometimes it hurts beyond what we want to go through. Sometimes it’s the last thing you want to do. Sometimes though what hurts the most is the best for the future.