Fasting: Day 9 – Ambushed by Euphoria

By: Ron Lagerquist

Physical Side

Cutting back on juice intake. One glass of grape juice, two small cantaloupes juiced. 

It has been rainy and cloudy for the last nine days, but this morning the sun was shining and the day warm. Because of the rain everything is lush and green. This morning I did a 10 mile bike ride down a forest path. Almost didn’t go, but am I ever glad I did. Normally when cycling, it’s all about increasing average speed and distance to improve cardiovascular endurance. This time it was completely different. I slowed down absorbing the apple trees heavy with white blossom, the perfumed lilacs, and as all of this spring splendor filed passed my senses, I experienced an unusual connection to the natural world around me. When anticipating my fast, I look forward to this effect, because most of my life is about speed. 

This afternoon I have taken my lawn chair and laptop and drove 10 minutes to a conservation area. I am writing this under small grove of spruce trees I found in the center of a large meadow that is full of birdsong. They were put there just for me, at least that’s how it feels. They provide me a small island shade surrounded by bright sunshine. I thoroughly enjoy sunshine while fasting and contrary to popular opinion, it’s healthy to have the sun’s rays on skin, just not too long. The benefit of juicing is the antioxidants will protect skin from the negative damage of small doses of direct sunshine. 

I’m surprised at how much energy I have had today, with such a small amount of juice intake. I had to go through some hard detox days to get rewarded with such an energetic day. It reminds me that much of the physical discomfort people experience during fasting is detoxification. Fasting must have been a very different experience in Jesus day when there was no McDonald’s, everything was organic, and the air and water clean. 

Spiritual Side

Got ambushed by some euphoria today. I wasn’t watching a great movie, or having a deep conversation with a friend, and of course was not eating a perfectly made meal. I was walking to my office and got an overwhelming feeling of wellbeing. Drug-free joy that had nothing to do with the circumstances I was in. Just a deep connection with God and life, like walking from the shadows into bright sunshine. 

What happens when someone has had so much depression and negative emotions, that they actually forget what wellbeing feels like? I think that’s not only sad but even a dangerous place to be in. For most of us depression can come and go, but for people who must live with it all the time, there is no context to their low periods. Depression or even purposelessness becomes their new normal. Then it’s just about finding a way to get through the day. Looking forward to something like a night of snacking, beer and TV is what keeps many people going. 

Wellbeing has nothing to do with looking forward to something because of how miserable you feel right now. What I felt today is hard to describe, but it goes something like this. Contentment in the moment. I need nothing to be happy; everything I need is within me. Profound connection to myself, God and the world around me. I could sit on my sofa and pray and be perfectly happy and fulfilled. 
This is real freedom. Addiction-breaking freedom. It took 9 days of fasting and prayer but it was worth it. What this does is creates a new context. 

Next Article: Fasting: Day 10 – And Then Came Prayer

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Very nice inspiring reading thank you for sharing this with us.
This was awesome to read, I love the last paragraph the most. It was extremely encouraging to read & I just hope you have an awesome day :) Reading this gave me hope and true encouragement, thank you :)
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