Wednesday, July 06, 2011

40 Day Fast: Day Two!

Here we are, day two of the fast done and gone. 

I'm traveling this week with my good friend, Nurse Shasta. We're in southern California for a training for people headed overseas on summer missions trips. We're helping coach the leaders and hanging out with the teams. I'm sure it will be a lot of fun.

Yesterday when we arrived here, Shasta made sure to take me out to the grocery to buy lots of juice for our week. She also pulled me aside at one point today to say, "I'm going to have a talk with you." She's worried I'm not going to take my health seriously during this fast, and she's concerned that I'll harm myself in some way. The hospital was mentioned. Ha ha. I have no plans of going to the hospital, that's for sure!

Trust me, you're going to want to shake the juice before you drink it.
I will say that Nurse Shasta has been really understanding about the fast... picking up the slack when I'm too tired to do everything I should be here at the training, and encouraging me to rest, take it easy, and drink lots of juice. The only place where she really crossed the line today was picking up one of my juice cans and popping the top before I had a chance to shake it! That's disgusting, because there is some sludge at the bottom of the can then.

I also had this moment today where I thought, maybe people would be interested in knowing about a 40 day fast, and what the experience is like for someone. Then I thought, this could be a book. I could call it “HUNGRY.” I thought some more about it and thought, This is an amazing idea. Then I thought harder and longer about it and wondered, "Is it possible that hunger is making me delirious?" 


  1. Anonymous6:45 PM

    I certainly would be interested in reading a book like that! Fasting is something I've never understood very much, so thank you for the great insights on here. Like I said though, a book would be even better! Sending you some encouragement as well! Good luck!

    Shasta's right though, it wouldn't hurt to keep an eye on your health all the while.

    Totally unrelated, Shasta makes me think of The Horse and His Boy, from Narnia, since that's the main character's name :)

    One more thing, I put in my wish list for NOTLDC. I'll put the order in officially as the release date gets closer. Can't wait!!!

  2. I've read a few books on fasting over the years and, apart from the Bible, so far they've been pretty not so good. I would look forward to your take on the subject. You would do a better job for sure. Already, your two posts are better than the books I've read. Of course, I'm assuming that in your book there would be zombies, trying to fast?

  3. @lukas Nice! Nurse Shasta was over tonight and I told her to read your comment and she thought it was funny. And I'm glad you're ready for NLDC... THREE MONTHS TO GO!!!

    @onebighappy Yup. Zombie fasts will be an essential part of the book, which will be called BRAIN FOOD.

    Most of this series will really be more about my experience fasting rather than a how-to or a theology-of-fasting type series. I haven't run across much like that so far. I'll put up a bibliography of some of the books I read later in the month....

  4. Interesting - it's cool that you are doing a 40 day fast but I wonder:
    #1 Is it more Christlike to be able to give only 1/4 your best in the areas He's called you to serve in (picking up the slack when I'm too tired to do everything I should be here at the training) - He obviously has you there for a reason... and to fast for 40 days (what ways is this bringing you closer to God?) or is it more Christ-like to serve to the fullest where He has placed you?
    #2 Why did you decide to fast? Just to do it? Or did you feel specifically called to fast for something? Because in the Bible it seems that people didn't just fast for unspecific reasons. In all honesty I'm simply curious, no offense is meant with any of my questions :)

  5. Anonymous3:26 PM

    I would like to comment on Alyssa's first question (this is Shasta :))

    First, I would like to say that Matt sometimes thinks he is slacking off, when in fact, it is quite the opposite. He has a high sense of responsibility, and is one of the greatest servants I know. I would encourage him to rest whether or not he is fasting, because he is such a hard worker. So, all that to say- I would take his comment with a grain of salt. Please allow me to brag on him by saying that he serves Christ to his fullest in whatever God places him. :)

    Sometimes, I think the Lord puts us in positions where we don't feel 100 percent, and perhaps cannot give how we are fully capable. (In fact, I think most days I feel like this!) It does not mean that I cannot give 100 percent of what I have to give for that task- even if I am physically or emotionally not able to do it perfectly. It causes me to lean on the Lord more for his provision. I have been grateful, for dear friends who have helped me along the way, when God called me to do things that I felt were impossible for me to be at my absolute best because of personal limitations at the time.
    I think that it is not an either/or in serving the Lord fully where he has placed you. In both, we follow the Lord wholeheartedly- doing whatever he asks us to do. Often, I find that following him seems inconvenient and uncomfortable, and I need help from him and the gracious friends he gives me.

  6. First, I am now convinced this fast did indeed land you in the hospital at some point, and I'm mad at you for not telling us. But I'm not sure whether to be mad at you now (since in blog time it hasn't happened yet) or wait until you post about it. It's a good thing I'm not a time traveler because I clearly couldn't handle the confusion.

    Second, Shasta's comment is brilliant and insightful (the part about fasting, not the part where she talks about how awesome you are).

    Third, I am reading this post while eating a donut.

  7. @Alyssa No offense taken, of course. I love it when you ask questions. Since Shasta went all crazy and answered a bunch of things and got Sarah so excited that she ate a donut, I'll keep it brief, but say this: I started the fast because I believe God asked me to do it. He knew, I would assume, what this would mean regarding my capacity to work (etc.). While fasting is not straight out commanded in the Bible, it was a pretty common practice that Jesus engaged in as well as his followers. There are quite a few practices in the Bible that are designed to remind us of our weaknesses rather than to increase our effectiveness (like, for instance, the concept of the sabbath). In the end, I don't think God cares all that much about our effectiveness... he has the power and ability to accomplish much more in a half second than I will with my entire life. Our motives, our obedience, what we learn along the way, things like that seem to hold a lot more weight with him. And, in this case, since he told me to fast, I do it... and trust that he will create ways to do what needs to be done despite my weakness. Well. That was a nice short answer, wasn't it?

    2) I would say that the closest "reason" that I had (at least starting out) for my fast would be the one given for why Jesus does his 40 day fast in the wilderness (this is in Matthew 4:1). It says he was "led by the Spirit" into the wilderness. That was pretty much it for me, too... I felt like God was harassing me to do this, without telling me why. Some good things and direction and so on came from it, but honestly (and you'll see this as I do the future posts) there were a lot of days where I just didn't understand why I had been asked to do this, either.

    I know those probably aren't incredibly satisfying answers, but that's all I've got right now. Keep those questions coming!

  8. @shasta Stop it, I'm blushing.

    @sarah I am actually dictating this by blinking my eyelids to my in-home nurse because I am too weak to type after the whole hospital incident. Be sure to look forward to my post Fasting Day 32: ORGAN FAILURE!