Half Way Through

by | Mar 29, 2019 | Deeper Life

Esther and I are now five days into a ten day fast, often known as a Daniel fast (Daniel 1). I thought, that since it is the Lenten season, it would be good to take time by entering into a period of self-denial for higher purposes. I really don’t like the term “self-denial”, as if my only goal is to give up things that I normally like, such as food. My goal is really the pursuit of God in ways that i don’t normally pursue Him.

I wanted to choose the time when we could enter into this fast without other extra scheduled activities. We had a planned time with our missionaries in Guatemala and then a hockey game with my son. As such, we planned our schedule when we could enter into the Daniel fast uninterrupted.

I must say that the transition into the fast was not as smooth as I would have wanted. I had, over many years, gotten use to certain food groups, such as pork and red meat. I like my fried eggs, bacon, taters, mushrooms greased up and sliding down the gullet smoothly. I like my coffee sweetened with white sugar; my toast loaded with melted margarine. I have been a stranger to salads, unless dripping with French dressing and broccoli, unless crowned with melted cheese. Fruits, such as apples and oranges are strangers to my lifestyle choices. There’s nothing like hot, buttered popcorn, loaded with salt, while I watch my favorite sports teams.

I would like to say that I have sounded real spiritual to my wife. Day one – I’m hungry. Can’t we go out for a burger. Day two – a juicy steak would go down real nice. Day three – You sure I can’t have fried eggs and sausage? But by day four, the hunger began to subside and the whining decreased, somewhat. Who would have thought that on day five, I would eat fish without batter, asparagus without cheese, potatoes without margarine (though I did sneak some salt on the spuds) and salad without dressing. And, please don’t tell Esther but it actually tasted okay.

My next challenge, over the remaining five days, is my commitment to continue the fast but with the added ingredient of not turning on the TV. I so love my sports and today marks the opening of baseball season, the continuance of the sweet sixteen, the moving towards the hockey playoffs and golf on the weekend. As well, I love to listen to the intrigues of news reporters and pundits as they spin their tales of corruption in high places.

Self-denial? Or maybe just the pursuit of higher goals. Did I mention the increased awareness of spiritual realities, the renewed focus on prayer for others, a more sharpened sense of clarity and purpose for my life? As such, we press on with expectation. The best is truly yet ahead of us!





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Please know that I love to speak with my Father and to bring others before Him in prayer. I have this unfailing belief that He both hears and answers the prayers of His children.
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Dave Griggs, MDiv

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