Early tomorrow morning, I'm having a routine medical procedure that requires me to do without food today. The last food intake I had was a monster bowl of ice cream at 10PM last night. It is now 3PM a day later. This may have been the longest I've gone without nourishment in my life.
It is such a radical departure from the norm...I get headaches when a meal is 30 minutes late. And I've had 'em today as well. Food is such a huge part of my life! Throughout the day today, I've had visions of snacks and desserts floating around my head, dropping off pieces of sugarized morsels onto my face. (I'm not yet suffering to the degree of the now-extinct Coahuiltecan Indians of South Texas...there were four types of Indians in early Texas: the farmers, the fishers, the hunters, and then the Coahuiltecans, who were, uh, gatherers of food. Among the delicacies they enjoyed were ants, spiders, bark, and deer manure. All they had to do for breakfast was turn over a rock.)
My stomach just growled! You may have heard it. But let's cut to the chase. It's dawned on me that I'm experiencing a tiny bit of what a lot of folks in the world deal with on a daily basis. What a blessing it is to live in America! I'm suffering now, but at least I know that about 10AM tomorrow, I'll have a chocolate shake or something equally fast-breaking and this hunger experience
will be over for good. To some kid on the streets of Mexico City or in the impoverished cities of India, their hunger doesn't come with the guarantee of a next meal that mine does.
I also freely admit that I've never fasted for the expressed purpose of seeking deeper spirituality. I hate the hunger headaches so much that I've just resisted the idea, period. I'm amazed, however, at how much fasting was interwoven into the lives of early Christians. It seemed to be as routine and normal as praying. Maybe one serendipitous outcome of this experience will be the personal revelation that this is something I can do and not die from. I also think that sometimes we Christians have a little fear of anything that might lead us into a deeper commitment with God...like guys who really don't want to go to a Promise Keepers weekend, knowing that it'll will probably lead into a more self-less lifestyle, and that is something they're not quite ready to experience.
So hopefully, as the rumbles continue from just north of my navel, there is good to come from this food deprivation session. One thing's for sure - I can't wait to get my hand around that Wendy's chocolate shake tomorrow.