(One Day OUT in November is a fasting/giving activity held the week before Thanksgiving by the ministry group, 40 Days. The activity was orginated by the online ministry, The ACTS Generation (Circa 2008-11). Both groups had/have as their heart to take traditional Christian faith to the next level, out of the cozy pew, and onto the streets where we live.)
So, what did I learn during my day of fasting?
First, being hungry is not easy.
The day I chose for my fast was Tuesday, two days before Thanksgiving. I’d been putting it off, making every excuse known to man about why I really didn’t need to do this even though as a leader of the event, it was ‘sorta’ important that I lead by doing….hahaha.
This day it seemed that everyone was eating, talking about eating, or planning to eat. And that day, I got a cupcake. From GiGi’s. It was like the devil himself wanted to see if I could hold out.
A business who gets work from my agency gives us cupcakes when we use their services. So, here I was, face to face with this luscious treat. I tried to give it away, but got shouted down by my co-workers, who suggested I save it for the next day. So, I stashed it in the fridge of my supervisor, and tried to forget about it.
One thought hit me. How many folks didn’t get a gift of food (of any kind) on that day? How many people didn’t have a place to keep food until they chose to eat it? How many people have never tasted a cupcake at all? I had a CHOICE to stop eating. How many people out there don’t have a choice?
I got through my fast, and was a bit stressed from work. I drove to a favorite restaurant, and justifying that my fast was over (it was past sunset after all,) I dove face first into an amazing amount of food. And, sad to say, something I ate did not agree with me. I ended up being sick most of the night.
I had plenty of time to think in those hours. Other thoughts came to mind. I had money in my bank account, and could walk in, just about anywhere, flash my debit card, and eat to my hearts content. Probably way too much.
To be truly hungry in the United States means this: no debit card, no buffets, and no chance to get sick from over-indulgence. My problems are definitely different than someone who is happy to get a meal at a shelter.
What did I learn from my fast time? That, I, as an American, am RICH. I have choices that are availiable to me that others do not have. Is this because of luck, grace, work ethic or just chance? Not sure. But I do know that I have always believed…..if I have excess, and hang onto it, then I spit in the face of grace.
Having much, and not sharing with those who do not have a lot (or anything) is going the opposite way of the gospel. And yes, I do it…everyday. I could do much, much better.
On Tuesday, I CHOSE to go without food. Many people on Tuesday had no other choice. I hope this event gives me a more tender heart to those who do not have a choice, or even for those whoose bad choices have put them in a place of poverty.