Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge the Lord, he will make your paths straight.”
I’d like to say I was the kind of gal that, when faced with a lot of extra time on her hands, would scrub her house from top to bottom. Or go to the gym. Maybe plant some flowers. Or make a birdhouse out of leftover popsicle sticks. Or volunteer at the local pet shelter.
But I’m not that gal, so instead I plopped myself down on the couch and channel surfed. Eventually I couldn’t take anymore decorating shows. News networks alarmed me. And of course the food channels made me hungry. I had stopped watching soap operas a decade ago, so those were out. I found myself flipping through channels I’d never stopped on before like C-Span and eventually, religious television.
Televangelists get a bad rap, some of it very deserved. But I came across this one man and he seemed pretty chill. He wasn’t shouting and spitting at the camera demanding that I send him money or else God would zap me to hell. Plus, it looked like he had his own hair. I know it is silly, but if a holy man is hiding the true state of his hairline, what else is he hiding?
He was talking about having a hardened heart towards God. And that every issue we face in life can be traced back to the state of our heart. I’m summarizing here, because I can’t say it the way he could, but in essence: a cold heart towards God equals a cold life. A warm heart equals a happy life.
And then he said if God has told you to do something, do it! Don’t question whether or not it makes sense.
Immediately fasting came to my mind. A lot of thoughts began rolling around my head. I had tried the fasting thing and nothing happened. It was probably just my conscious downing on me because I ate all the brownies and half of the cake. Who listens to televangelists anymore? Why was I even trying to figure this out? I had bigger problems to worry about.
That day I found out that sometimes the biggest favor you can give yourself is to act like your thoughts are a TV, and click it off.
I was at a point where I honestly felt I had nothing to lose. I looked up towards the sky and said, “God, I give up. I’m going to fast today. If this sacrifice of blubber makes you happy then I’ll do it.” So I fasted the rest of the day, not even drinking any liquids. I poured my almost full pot of coffee down the drain.
Let me tell you how much I love coffee. I inhale the smell of it like it’s the finest perfume. If I had to choose between a great cup of coffee or oxygen, I’d hold my breath while I drank. Pouring out that pot of delicately roasted, very expensive Costa Rican blend was extremely difficult.
That day I didn’t watch cooking shows, make eyes at the chocolate cake, or call myself crazy for denying myself. And when my stomach growled at me I told it, “I’m not taking any complaints from you today. I don’t understand why God wants this, but apparently He wants it more than you need bacon.”
That night I slept like a baby, if I dreamed I didn’t have any recollection of it. I woke up refreshed and not at all feeling dehydrated.