21 Day Fast – How?
If you know me, you know I love Big Macs and French fries with tons and tons of ketchup. But that changed the past 21 days.
I haven’t had food from the holy trinity be it McDonald’s, Wendy’s or Burger King…fact is I love all their burgers. I am a junk food junkie. On a whim I took a challenge…well, not really a challenge in the true sort of way, more in a spiritual way. My church was talking about kicking off the New Year with a 21 day fast where the sole intention is to help you draw closer to God. Don’t know why exactly but I heard the message just one time that Sunday morning earlier this month and made a commitment to do the 21 day fast at that very moment.
After service, I drove directly to Krispy Kreme and easily justified my favorite order, two hot glazed donuts and a raspberry filled donut with a chocolate milk. No sugar rush there – ha. Then said to myself, Monday it is…go time…21 days.
I was not doing this to lose weight.
Never weighed myself. I was not sharing with others, including family, what I was doing and if they asked I just told them I was taking a New Year’s resolutions challenge. This was a private journey I’d heard other take to grow spiritually. I just finished my 21 day fast today and I share this with you now not to brag in any way shape or form, but to share with you the power of such a transformative experience. One that I’ve seen change others lives.
So the question is, “How did I do?”
Really well is the answer. However, it started off rough. That Wednesday just 3 days into the 21 day fast I let my parents know I was going to stop by and visit them after dropping my wife off at the airport. My Dad said he would pick me up some food and I politely declined. When I passed by their home, my Dad did exactly what I expected him to do; he picked me up some food. He bought two plates of red beans and rice for my Mom and himself and a sloppy roast beef po-boy for me. I had to decline again, he looked at me confused and questioned me, then he happily proceeded to unwrap the po-boy for himself and the aroma filled the room. I was thinking to myself, I really could start this “fast thing” on Thursday. I am glad I didn’t, as that was the first test, among many. A journey like this will test you in many ways as your body adjusts to a new diet – one that started off with fruits and vegetables for a couple of days then juices and liquids for one week then the remainder back to fruits and vegetables. I thought this was going to be really hard. Fact is, it wasn’t. If I were doing this just to lose weight, it would have been hard as can be or near impossible. Mentally is definitely the hardest part, but when I would turn to my faith it was absolutely amazing how the hunger would subside. The 21 day fast became doable. Prayer life doing this improves dramatically and is really not option if you want to honor and come closer to God and have success. The Big Mac didn’t even have a chance.
My journey along the 21 day fast took me much deeper spiritually. I could share details but many are private…I will say I have found a much greater strength than I knew I ever had. I am very pleased, not surprised, at the positive outcomes with an “s “that this has already had on my life and more importantly on my view of life and eternity moving forward. I’m excited and hopeful. And I am grateful for going on a whim with this; now I fully appreciate much, much more the power of prayer. If you have ever considered doing a 21 day fast or perhaps fewer days, know that you will come out with what you put in. And if your intentions are genuine, your life will change, your relationships with family and friends will change, your relationship with God will change – all for the better.
PS. If you want to learn more about praying and fasting, you can see the guide by Bill Bright my church provided here. I also used the book called The Daniel Plan by Rick Warren as a fasting guide. Interesting thing is I look forward to keeping a few of the new habits I learned during my 21 day fast. Better health, better spiritually…I may have to have my cheat burger from time to time though…chomp:) Like I said before, the Big Mac didn’t stand a chance on my 21 day fast!