Fasting

desert2

(Lenten reflection)

The black coffee of Lent…

As an adult, fasting during Lent (for me) has gone beyond no meat on Fridays and giving up chocolate. First of all, I eat a plant-based diet, so these dietary practices are irrelevant in that sense. But they are irrelevant to me now in another sense. For me, a Lenten fast is a matter of adopting a whole different approach to everything. I do not “give up” tasty treats so much as strive to let go of habitual aspects of my life that are ultimately harmful and illusory. It is not a contest of my will against itself, which is just another power trip. Instead, I make an effort to deepen my one-to-one relationship with God, who is the only one who can give me strength and perspective for this journey. Like any other intimate¬†relationship, this requires time and sacrifice. Some things I would prefer to keep must be set aside. Fortunately, as it moves forward, this kind of Lenten fast becomes more of a moving closer than a letting go. Meatless Fridays, a desert with no chocolate, and fish sandwiches from a mega-corporation seem like an absurd parody of the dry bread and black tea of trying to walk with Christ into the vast wilderness of seeking the one thing necessary.

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