Fasting: Day 16 – Quitting and Starting Again

By: Ron Lagerquist

Physical Side

One large cantaloupe juiced; two glasses of veggie juice with added kale. Now sitting under a shady tree sipping, thinking, recovering.

Yesterday I had committed to helping a friend move with the understanding that there would be many backs to divide the labor. The trick was to pace myself and bring extra juice. But the night before the move, I received a panicked phone call informing me that the only back was mine and one daughter, and there was tons of stuff to be moved down a steep, narrow staircase. The choice was between continuing with the fast with the likelihood of her not being moved in time, or breaking the fast and spending the whole day sweating up and down stairs. I choose the greater good. 

Yesterday morning I ate enough food to provide energy to move boxes and furniture all day. Those first boxes carried felt like being ripped from the peaceful, womb-state of fasting into the misery of a long, grueling day of work. It took a full two hours for my body to awake to the task. 

Spiritual Side

I confess when I first walked into that apartment yesterday and saw the bedlam of boxes piled high, still-to-be-packed knickknacks and collectables of all kinds, including plates, tea cups and spoons—add to this mismatched antique furniture, all brick heavy, too large and too numerous for such a small place, I felt overwhelmed, which was quickly followed by anger. I could hear her in the bedroom crying, she was discouraged and embarrassed. She has been struggling with depression and this was manifestly clear by the chaos surrounding me. 

I’m a minimalist. My apartment is sparse, modern, everything has its place. If I haven’t worn it or used it in a year, it’s unceremoniously recycled or given away. Why have three cups when you only use two? Once a minimalist, there is no going back. I think fasting had a lot to do with this evolution. My lifestyle is reflected in my decor, I find beauty in simplicity and utilitarian quality. Black and chrome suit me well, with a one fine piece of art. I would rather invest time and money in experiences then ownership. For me clutter is stressful and depressing. It may be the obsessive in me. 

Why should I have to break my fast to move someone’s junk—stuff that should have been taken to the dump—this is how I felt. She was watching me, trying to read my face, I knew that if I didn’t change my attitude and do it quickly, this could be a very bad day for both of use. Rallying myself, to my surprise the peace was there, not far from the surface, all I had to do was whisper a quiet prayer, asking God to help me be a blessing, then calm myself, and there it was. If I had not been fasting for the last 15 days it would have been much harder to find that peace. 

It’s noon and here I sit under my shaded tree. My body slides back into the fasting state, and quickly I reconnect to the peace of this place. Yesterday feels like another place. 

Next Article: Fasting: Day 17 – Counting The Cost

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