Herald Journal Columns
September 3, 2007 Herald Journal

Fasting from excess


Our church recently suggested spending 10 days in fasting and prayer for each other as a spiritual exercise. I thought this was great way to find inner equilibrium and appreciate all the abundance we have in this country, too.

Incidentally, one of our four missions is a village in the Dominican Republic. This country suffers from a 60 percent poverty, within a population of about 9 million people who live in a space about the size of Vermont and New Hampshire combined. They also suffer from lawless crime and the lack of basic medical services, amongst other things.

As big, fat ugly Americans, we get endless clean water (cold to drink, and hot baths), too much food of every kind (sweet, spicy, salty, etc.), civilized protection, cozy houses, access to modern health care, and whatever we might need or want.

Since we are fat Americans who would probably pass out from the lack of sugar/caffeine/processed microwave something (actually this stuff is killing us inside out, but I digress. . . ), the pastor said it would be OK to choose something to give up and fast from that.

So, I thought I’d give up chocolate. It’s something that I like, but wouldn’t be too hard to give up. You can’t pick brussel sprouts, y’know. What’s the point?

But I am disgusted to report that this is harder than I thought, and it’s really not going well. That stuff is in just about everything, and I can’t seem to escape from it.

Aside from that, something that I thought was twice-a-week thing is really a daily I NEED IT NOW thing.

To start, I pick up a mocha coffee every morning. I had to drink straight coffee instead. Can’t have any chocolate bars or chocolate chip ice cream.

This is going to be a crabby 10 days.

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