Thursday, August 04, 2011

Fasting Day 31: Is there a big decision on the horizon?

Why? Why? Whyyyyyyyyyy?
Throughout this whole process, the one question I haven't been able to answer sufficiently has been, "Why are you fasting?" I don't feel like I have a good answer for that... or, at least, one that sounds good to other people. In other words, when I say, "Well, I feel like the Lord told me to do it" that leaves a lot of people uncertain. Why would the Lord tell you to do that? Did he explain why? Is it about discipline? Obedience? Greater intimacy with him? Are you seeking direction? To which I have only been able to say, sure, all those things are probably true. But it's not like God called me into his study, sat me down and said, "Son, I'd like you to stop eating for more than a month. Here's a list of all the reasons why, along with a review sheet of all the lessons I expect you to learn along the way."

Last night after the wedding we went to stay the night with our good friends Erik and Maureen York. They knew I was fasting because we had talked about it at the wedding and Erik (who is a pastor in Seattle) said, "We'll talk more about this later."

So now it was later, and we were all sitting at their dining room table talking about a lot of things, when Erik turned to me and asked a question that no one had asked me, at least not quite like this. He asked, "Why are you fasting? Is there a big decision on the horizon?"

I opened my mouth to reply, and realized before I spoke that I wasn't sure of the answer. Did I have a big decision on the horizon? Maybe so. I wasn't aware of one, but something about the question made me pause. Most of the time, big fasts in scripture come in turning point moments... a new ministry is about to begin, or someone is about to have an intense meeting with God and receive some marching orders. Could it be that I'm in the midst of something like that? A preparation for hearing something big about my future?

Ten years ago I did the longest fast I had done to that point, about 30 days or so. At the end of that fast, hidden in a stand of bamboo, I prayed and talked with God and heard him speak in one of the clearest ways I ever have in my life and what happened in that moment was that God asked me if I was willing to take on writing as part of what he expected of me. Not necessarily my vocation, but something that would be part of my service to him, not just a hobby. I won't go into the details of that conversation right now, but for me it's an important turning point where my writing officially went from being a hobby to being something I knew needed to be professional and in his service. Could something like this be coming in the next nine days? Could it be that there's a big decision on the horizon? What might he ask from me?

I can't remember what I said to Erik. I hope I said, "Good question." Because that's a great question and one I think all of us can ask ourselves: "Is there a big decision on the horizon?" Am I ready for that?