Fasting has never been a spiritual discipline I’ve been very good at practicing. The times I have fasted haven’t been without meaning but haven’t moved me as much spiritually as I would have expected. Honestly, one of the biggest takeaways I’ve had after each time of fasting has been the amount of time I think about food. I don’t think I’m obsessed with food, (or perhaps I am and don’t realize it) but I did realize I think about what I’m going to eat, want to eat, should eat, shouldn’t eat, what kind of snack I want while I sit at my desk, etc. a lot.
For a significant part of his life, John Wesley practiced fasting each week. He would spend time fasting after his Thursday evening meal until his Friday evening meal in order to help focus his prayer time. Bishop Coyner, the leader of The Indiana Conference of The United Methodist Church, shared the idea from one of our District Superintendents to invite individuals to join in this practice of weekly fasting through Lent. You can read his invitation here.
Because this has been one of the spiritual disciplines I have struggled with, I am going to be trying Wesley’s fast through the season of Lent. I will be starting the fast after dinner on Thursday and will not eat until Friday dinner. So, practically, that means skipping 2 meals and any snacking that might normally take place and instead spend time in intentional prayer, study, & relationships.
Perhaps this is a discipline you would like to join me in trying through Lent? Let me know and we can share our experiences together.