I’ve never been good at fasting. At most I’ve lasted a couple of days. I’m not doing a fast at this moment. Instead, I’m doing juicing as a supplement to a healthy diet. Yet in some ways, juicing is like a fast as it requires me to have self control over my food choices. I’m doing this to improve my health which may have spiritual benefits. If I feel well, I am likely to be free to think of God more freely. However, a true fast would yield a more intense focus on prayer if I should choose to go that route.
My wife and I decided to get a juice machine after watching the documentary by Joe Cross, Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. We were impressed at how a diet of mostly vegetables could improve a person’s health so dramatically. Juicing seems to increase the nutrient intake. So, we decided to begin a daily juicing addition to our diet. To this, I have rejoined my wife in regular exercise. We are early into the juicing effort and will see where it leads.
What I’ve noticed so far is that we drink about a weeks worth of vegetables every day. We do an orange juice and a veggie juice for breakfast each morning. For the rest of our meals, we keep to a diet of lean protein, whole grain carbs, fruits and vegetables. We eat small meals with healthy little snacks between to keep the hunger crave down. We try to have a small amount of protein on each meal/snack as this keeps the hunger pains away and allows us to live on less food. Again, this is more of a juice supplement rather than a fast.
When I think of spiritual fasting, I think of Jesus. Jesus fasted. He fasted for 40 days. I am told the body can do this as long as water is not withheld. At the end of the fast, all of the body’s fat storage is used up. At that time the body becomes intensely hungry. That may explain why Jesus now finds himself tempted to use divine power to turn stones into bread. The need to eat would have been overwhelming. Yet, again, I’ve never done this so I cannot speak from experience.
What I know from fasting is that I become somewhat hungry. It becomes something of an annoyance more than sharp pains. I can’t say I’ve experienced great spiritual breakthroughs by fasting. Others have. In fact, I find it difficult to fast because there are so many times I have to eat by my social calendar. How do you hide a fast when you are around social eating so much? My spiritual breakthroughs come more in isolated prayer rather than from fasting.
So at this time I’m not fasting for a spiritual benefit. I’m just doing a juicing supplement for health. I am looking at juicing to obtain a better health so my body is not a hindrance to serving God. Either way, fasting or juicing requires self-control. Self-control is part of negative capability, and a fruit of the Spirit.