Fasting: Day 7 – Growing Lists and Diminishing Fat

By: Ron Lagerquist

Physical Side

Seven days of fasting, doing well, so I have decided to reward myself to my favorite juice. One whole pineapple, two oranges and a medium sized raw sweet potato juiced. I say raw because of the many emails asking if they should cook the sweet potato before juicing. This produces about three glasses of silky smooth, energy sustaining, crazy-good tasting juice. Add to this, two glasses of veggie juice and one glass of Welsh’s grape juice 

There is this little roll of fat around my belly that has accumulated over the last year, and I hate the thing, even obsess over it. Obsession does not burn calories; in fact it can result in overeating. I am not one to allow something as trivial as age to affect lifestyle, but truth be told, it’s harder to keep belly fat off at 50 then 30, and being in denial of this will do me no good. After seven days of fasting the belly is getting flatter and pants loose. I try not to think much about weight loss; after all, it will happen during a fast whether you think about or not. I find I am much more likely to complete the fast if I keep my mind on Jesus then checking myself in the mirror. And here’s the irony, as the fast progresses and spiritual things become more in focus, I don’t care so much about how I look in the mirror anyway. I was all worried about how I look, and when I look good, I don’t care. Oh well.

Spiritual Side

Over the remainder of this year I have a long to-do list that I’m anxious to accomplish. Accomplishing is one thing I’m good at, so it takes a deliberate effort for me to lay aside my list and spend 25 evenings and four weekends doing nothing but making juice, being still, mediating and praying. It can feel like wasting time. I’m trying, but problem is the dam list is tattooed in my head. 

Have you ever visited someone and you could tell by their body language they were distracted and wished you would leave? With half a coffee still warm in the mug, you say, “Well I guess I should go, busy day.” The look of relief is barely masked by a courteous, “oh you can’t stay longer and finish your coffee?” 

Over the last seven days God has seen past my half-baked prayers and distracted bible readings, performed more out of obligation than love. Forget polite pretense, better to pray, “Dear Lord, I’m having a hard time sitting here with You just talking and reading. I want to get up and do stuff.” 

It’s becoming easier though. Part of the problem is getting through that wall of reluctance, because I know that, just like a husband who has neglected his wife, drawing close again will involve regret. It’s like waking a whole part of my heart up again. Also there’s this fear that once awoken I will be less productive. Falling in love can mess up the best laid plans. As a Christian in my early twenties I was full of young man’s dreams, but as I have grown older dreams have been sacrificed on the altar of pragmatism and the result has been increased productivity—and decreased joy. Writing because I love to write and not to create content for Google. Increasing sales because I love helping people. Quality over quantity. And finally trading lists for relationships. Dear Jesus forgive me. 

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It is day one of my fast and I am wanting to make my list of all I have to do, and not sit here and pray and read the Bible. You made me laugh about your list tattooed to your head. Love your honesty.
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