Fasting: Day 20 – Man-Up

By: Ron Lagerquist

Physical Side

One flavorless honeydew juiced; two glasses of dreary grape juice; two glasses of musty veggie juice. But then how would I know, my mouth grew hair overnight.
Awoke from strange dreams to a 6AM alarm. This is my first day back to work after a week off. I feel sluggish rolling out of bed. From the spiritual womb of solitude, baptized into the bustle of well-fed people, this morning I’m overwhelmed with the desire to quit my fast. Going to work in a fasting state makes no sense, at least that’s how I feel, while standing here beside my bed, weak and downcast.

Spiritual Side

Today I’m a fraud, a barely adequate writer. The morning face that greets me appears ugly, old and redundant. Today, I feel about as uninspired as a loaf of bread; the thesaurus will be my best friend. I was tempted to write nothing but, “Sorry, no spiritual side today.” But those wiser than me know this is not true. These are the growing hours. 

On days like today, there is no God. That’s how I feel. I couldn’t muster a goose-bump if my life depended on it. Reading the bible makes matters worse, praying feels like talking to myself. 

Reality check—feelings lie—but they’re convincing liars. So I have a choice. I don’t feel like I have a choice, but I do. I can sit here and feel sorry for myself, or choose to believe in spite of how I feel. Here’s how that works. I warn you, it’s not complicated but it’s dam hard to do, especially if you’re used to allowing your emotions to control your life. When feelings contradict the bible, then you make a choice of what to believe. It’s that simple. 

Here’s an example. God feels a million miles away—the bible says that the Spirit of God is on the inside of me. I chose the bible over what I’m feeling even though what I’m feeling is more compelling than words in an old book. Making this choice does not mean I will instantly feel any better—that’s ok, because I’m no longer trusting my feelings. 

I’ve have had my goose-bump days—today, I grow up, or the like the famous American Poet, Sara Palin is fond of saying, “man-up.” Long-term growth rarely happens while face-up on the floor of the front of the Church while being bathed in professional praise music. In fact, the effect rarely lasts into Sunday evening. Growth happens when we are forced to make hard faith choices while fleshy emotions are misbehaving. 

Sure enough, tonight, I am home and feeling better. I will be honest, it took me some time to man-up, take my emotional bull by the horns and trust in what I was not feeling. I find it helps to talk out loud. “Right now, in spite of how I am feeling, I make a quality decision to believe that I am the righteousness of God. That God is in me, He is faithful and His Son’s blood has washed away all of my sin.” Simple but hard.

Next Article: Fasting: Day 21 – Emotional Healing

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