Fasting: Day 24 – Ending The Fast The Right Way

By: Ron Lagerquist

Physical Side

One large cantaloupe juiced; two glasses of veggie juice with added romaine lettuce; one glass of bottled, black cherry juice. 

Weak today but getting excited about eating tomorrow night. Too excited! The number one reason why people break their fast the wrong/unhealthy way is because of food fantasies days before the fast is over. Reigning in my thinking today will set myself up for success tomorrow night. 

I’ll walk into dangerous territory and tell you the food fantasy I have to guard myself from: Pizza. It helps to have, been there done that—pizza as a break-fast food is now stigmatized with pain. But hunger and craving can make the best of us dumb as stumps. I will take a risk and load the pizza for you—extra sauce, red pepper, onions, mushrooms, black and green olives, garlic—ok, that’s enough. 

In the past I have justified the pizza choice by loading it with veggies, as if you can hide all the cheese below from the awaiting intestines. And it’s the cheese that gets me every time. About four slices and four hours later, tummy pain, gas, bloating, and did I mention gas. With background music of gas, disappointment. After such a wonderful fasting experience, why end it that way. So I will curtail craving by fantasizing about gas and end my fast with veggies and fruit, which actually taste better. 

Spiritual Side

It took the whole first half of this fast to be free of the compulsion to escape into achieving and be still. Painful at times, I felt fear just doing nothing but meditating, but once I let go, man, the Holy Spirit filled the spaces being vacated. 

As I described, before the fast, the worse times of emptiness were those long minutes before sleep. Last night when I went to bed, I felt so giddy with excitement; I had to actually lunge out of bed and run around my apartment laughing with exhilaration, jumping like a crazy man, shouting, I’m never going back! No way!” For the first time in my life I understood what that horrible feeling of emptiness is for—so God can fill it! So thank God for emptiness. 

But in 48 hours I am leaving this fasting place, and I feel apprehension. I do not want to go back to daytime escaping and bedtime emptiness.

How do I stay connected to the Spirit while living in the world of eating, working and playing? If I do not live these changes then they will just become concepts and concepts are easily forgotten. For instance the idea of taking my lawn chair to the park and writing and praying under the shade of a tree can quickly become a nuisance. I know myself enough to know I won’t just do it. It will not take long for my priority system to slide back to normal and I will be as busy and unhappy as everyone else. That cannot happen! 

I know I cannot stay here. Any longer and I will be avoiding responsibility which is  another kind of escape. There’s not some magic in the trees, wind or juice I drink, the magic is in the intimacy I have developed over the last 23 days. All relationships involve investment, whether it’s a marriage, friendship or God, and I have invested time and focus in my relationship with God. And here’s the thing, closeness with God changes everything including the heart. 

I need to do something different, make some hard choices to protect this intimacy with God. Over the next 48 hours I am going to take a very practical look at my life and make a list of things I will do differently after the fast has ended. I will share them with you in my Day After The Fast post. 

Next Article: Fasting: Day 25 –Wisdom Gained, 13 Pounds Lost 

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Thank you.
Sol
Thanks, I needed to read this today! On day 2 and in agony with my stomach.. lots of healing taking place.
Luke
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