I don't know why I didn't think of this idea on my own. I guess I'm not as spiritually-minded as I'd like to believe. A friend shared this idea on facebook yesterday and asked who would like to join her. She first heard about it while listening to a Christian radio station, so many of you may have known about it for a while now. (I'm a little slow on the up-tick sometimes.)
I've participated in fasts before but I don't think for this long and certainly never in preparation for an election. I'm looking forward to it, though, and this may be the start of a new tradition for every election year!
Since I just learned about this fast less than 24 hours ago, I haven't had a lot of time to think about what I would fast from. That's the beauty of fasting, too. It doesn't necessarily have to be food. Denying yourself of anything you want is still a powerful learning experience and a way to deepen your relationship with God. Every time you want that thing, it's a healthy reminder to reflect on His ways, His desires, His Word and not our own self-interests. A time to pray and thank Him for our many blessings.
I can't realistically fast from food anyway. I have epilepsy and not eating for long periods of time would surely send me into a convulsion. Many of you may have similar health concerns. So, what can we fast from? Well, I absolutely love sweet tea and drink it nearly every day. Even the thought of not enjoying that sweet nectar for 40 days makes me cringe. That would be so tough for me and am I really prepared for that? It sounds ridiculous, I know. It is just sweet tea for cryin' out loud!
Then, there's also the internet and/or television. I spend way too much time online. It is definitely a vice. By the same token, it is also the primary way that I stay in touch with the outside world, including friends and family in many cases. There are several organizations and clubs of which I am an active part and our primary mode of communicating is either by email or facebook. Who is bringing food to the next meeting, if a meeting time changes, what responsibilities need to be completed in a given week. In fact, even some of those communications are my responsibility to initiate. As for television, in order for me to fast from that, the entire family would have to participate. I'm all for the whole family participating but I don't think I should unilaterally make that decision for them, particularly for my husband. He is the head of our household and we are a team. To force my will in this way is disrespectful and not biblical, which totally defeats the purpose. (Not to mention that we were gifted the blessing of Netflix until the end of December and I can't help but feel like not using it would also be disrespectful to the giver and unappreciative of the gift. That may sound like an excuse, but the gift is really time. Not using that time feels like wasting the gift, ya know? Not being a good steward?) Nonetheless, giving up either of them for 40 days just isn't very practical.
So, here is what I've decided to do... On the weekdays when it is just Sadie and me at home, I'm fasting from television and online activities that are devoid of my responsibility. I still have things that I will actually have to work on to fulfill my duties for certain organizations (like MOPS, for instance) and daily life (coupons/weekly ads for grocery trips), but no surfing the web, unnecessary "chatting" on facebook (probably the most challenging), or watching shows to pass the time whenever Justin is gone. I'll still blog, particularly in regards to this fast (any pitfalls I may encounter or spiritual matters that are relevant) but I'll save those for any available evening or weekend time. That automatically makes it harder to do because at those times I'm sharing one computer with 4 other people, including a husband who will have schoolwork to complete for online classes.
Next, (and I can't believe I'm saying this) I will not drink sweet tea. I was going to just give it up on the weekends but God is really laying it on my heart to just suck it up and do the whole thing. I obviously need to, otherwise I wouldn't be so reluctant. There is no reason that I have to have it or can't avoid it like there is with the television and online issue. Eck! This is the one that hurts the most already. But I can do this! With your encouragement and support and with God's help. Sweet tea. Who knew it could be so evil?! haha
So, I'm petitioning you now to join us during this time of prayer and fasting for our country and our leaders! Esther and the Jews fasted before she went before the king (her own husband!) in order to save her people. I often wonder if the story would have ended differently had they not fasted and prayed first. Did that make all the difference in the outcome? I don't know. Could it be, perhaps, even in the sense that they were more courageous and God-centered after that experience? Perhaps more than that?
All I know is our country seems to be steadily moving further and further away from God. He has given us freewill so we have that choice...along with all its consequences. When you consider that we live in a republic, God has given us the power to choose our leaders. As we enter this election, let's vow to be prepared. Let's vow to participate and make wise decisions, Godly decisions. Ultimately, God is in control but scripture has borne out that we also participate with Him and have influence when we petition Him with sincere and reverent hearts. Let's prepare our hearts and minds together and seek God's wisdom as we approach this election. Thirty-eight more days until the vote! It's not too late to join us. It's not too late to make a difference. It's not too late to seek His face. What will you fast from in the days to come? I hope to encourage you. I hope you will encourage me. I will certainly need it!
- I'm a mother of 3 who started blogging as a way to share our many adventures and to expand beyond the everyday "mommy world". While there IS so much more to us mommies than the title, there is very little that doesn't in some way or another lead us back to or influence our children...if anything. So, I hope you enjoy following our family's randomness, because as all moms know- you can never anticipate what tomorrow will bring! Thanks for visiting and have a blessed day! :)