Tomorrow is the last day of the fast I set out to complete on the 7th June. It’s been an incredible month.
Work-wise, it’s been crazy busy: June passed in a blur of activity and I was left with a sense that I’d been living in some kind of a bubble. It all went well, though – and that, in part, was due to Simplify7. Had I not been fasting and committed only to those 7 foods, I know I would have been tempted to eat all kinds of things that are bad for me. Stress is a definite trigger for me to abandon everything I know about healthy eating! So, let me be honest, I wouldn’t have been tempted – I would have eaten all the cakes, biscuits, etc on offer!
So instead, I lost a few pounds. That wasn’t the purpose of the fast, but it’s certainly a benefit to me. And the discipline was a personal benefit to me too. I can even proudly say that I’ve managed the last ten days not just without coffee, but also without Diet Coke…and, boy, am I looking forward to getting them back! I have debated continuing a caffeine-free life, but I don’t feel any specific calling to do that…although I guess I will try to limit it, having come so far. And having read quite a bit about why it is so bad for me…
I’ve done a lot of reading over the last month. Not as much as I would like, because I still feel I have so much to learn. But I’ve begun to scratch the surface and begin to understand why God is calling me to look at the way I’m living – and what I’m doing to live out my faith.
Of course, the last month has been pretty crazy on the UK front too! Whatever else I may feel about the outcome of the referendum, it’s been shocking to realise how deep the division within our country. The political infighting and manipulation from the people who are supposed to be leading us is depressing. The lies that have been told by both sides; the way the media and politicians have fed into prejudices and caused further division and dissatisfaction – it would be easy to retreat into despair. But we are where we are, and I am reminded of the Edmund Burke quote: ‘the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men [and women!] to do nothing.’ I feel a more urgent prompting to do something.
We sang this at church last Sunday. The words are inspiring – though there is a huge challenge (to me at least) to sing it and mean every word.
That’s the difficulty. Much as I might want to make some big changes, help others or live out my faith more actively, it’s not going to be easy. Living on 7 foods for a month has been a breeze in comparison, but at least it has shown me that I am capable of rising to a challenge.
In fact, writing this blog and taking the – for me – very brave step of sharing it, has been a much bigger challenge than the fast. But it’s also turned out to be one of the best things. I’ve had such positive feedback and support; it’s really spurred me on. And I hope it may have inspired some others too – as much as personal ramblings can!
So, this isn’t the end. It’s a beginning.
I’m not sure what I’m going to do next. Jen Hatmaker followed a month of fasting on 7 foods by a month of wearing 7 items of clothing (there was more to it than that, but that’s the headline!) However, she did take a couple of weeks between the two exercises. I think I’m going to take slightly longer, but time will tell.
In the meantime, I need to prepare for the Pudding Party that will be held on the 16th July. I’m looking forward to eating nice things; I’m looking forward to spending time with friends; I’m hoping we also raise some money to make life a little sweeter for those who have so little. If you are reading this and you don’t have an invitation, please let me know – I’m sure we can squeeze in a few more!