For the 2nd consecutive year, the church I attend is opening the New Year with a call to 21 days of prayer and fasting.
Deciding to participate was easy. Deciding what type of fast to commit to was, on the other hand, more difficult. Paradoxical creature that I am, I love having choices, freedom, but at the same time, that same freedom and those choices often cause me more than a little stress.
I want to make the right choice, the perfect choice, even. As a result, I do my research, weigh the options, eliminate those that I can, ask for the opinions of trusted loved ones and friends, and then . . . I do more research, weigh the remaining options, eliminate any that I can and . . . finally make a decision.
This year, I decided to do a modified Daniel Fast. In the authentic Daniel Fast, a person abstains from eating meat, dairy, all sweeteners, and all drinks except for water. Thankfully, there’s nothing legalistic about this 21 days of prayer and fasting, so I felt comfortable modifying the Daniel Fast and am giving up meat, dairy, and sweeteners; I will be drinking tea (unsweetened, of course) and almond milk.
Perhaps I’m just a contrary soul, but once I can’t have or do something — even something I rarely have or do — that’s precisely the time I really want it.
For example, when I was growing up, a storm of almost any size meant a loss of electricity. I don’t know anything about the whys or hows; I just know that if a decent-sized storm moved in, our family would be without television, lights, and various devices until the storm had passed and power restored. Of course, as soon as the power went out, I had a strong urge to use something I hadn’t had a desire to use before the storm hit — and, of course, that something relied on electricity!
The same has been true the first two days of this new year. I rarely — once or twice a year, in fact — eat a corn dog. Every September when the SEMO District Fair rolls around, I enjoy one; the fair just isn’t the fair without eating a corn dog and following it up with cotton candy. I might also have one at a popular fast-food restaurant one other time throughout the year, but that’s about it.
Yesterday, though, I craved a corn dog. Even though I don’t really like hot dogs all that much, I wanted one, dipped in batter and fried to golden perfection, with all my being.
And that wasn’t all! I haven’t had a Sprite or Sprite-based drink in well over a month (I gave up colas years ago but only recently cut down my Sprite consumption) and hadn’t given it much of thought. But yesterday, I wanted a Sprite to go along with my corn dog, and I wanted them both in the worst of ways.
So here I am, 2 days and a couple of hours into a 21-day fast, and already, I am craving “forbidden fruit”.
I don’t want to give in, and that’s why I decided to write a post about this. I wasn’t going to, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to need the accountability that sharing publicly provides.
I’ll keep you posted. And if anyone wants to go with me to Sonic at 12:01 a.m. on January 22 to enjoy a corn dog and a Route-44 Strawberry Limeade, let me know!