Day 17 - February 12th, 2019 - Madeline

It’s so interesting to me how fasting ties together our spirituality and our physicality. It reminds me that we are not merely a soul inside body. We are human. Every part is connected, and each part interacts with the others.

It is always on the days that I am fasting that I am offered more free or convenient food than any other time. Whether it’s my parents cooking dinner or my favorite snack at work, it all seems to happen on the day that I have chosen to fast. I try my very hardest and deny these free treats, and I move along with my day.

Maybe it’s temptation specifically because I am fasting. Maybe I just don’t realize how many free things are offered to me on a regular basis. Either way, it is SO hard to say no to free food.

It leaves me wondering if there is a spiritual comparison when it comes to free food versus food that I buy.

When I have to buy a meal, it costs me financially, but I have chosen it myself. I have picked something that I am craving or I think will taste good. I also will probably finish my food because I paid for it. If I don’t I’ll take it with me.

When food is free, it doesn’t matter as much if I finish it because it didn’t cost me anything. I can take a bite and throw it away, and it won’t have an effect on me.

I wonder if this is the way that we tend to treat God. God freely offers unconditional love, grace, relationship. At first we take it and feel so undeserving and grateful, but after a while we realize there are other things we could have that we want more. So we buy something that we think will fulfill us. We seek after other things that we expect will satisfy, and we end up costing ourselves.

Why would I go out to eat alone when my parents are making dinner? Why would I go to Starbucks if my friend already made some coffee? Why do we seek out fulfillment through other human relationships, possessions, and even eating when our Father is offering to feed our souls.

It’s like the Prodigal Son. He goes away and spends everything, searching for something to make him feel satisfied, but at the end of the story he returns home to his father who wants to throw him a party and cook him a meal. He thinks he can buy big experiences and make the most of them. He thinks he is going to find what is better by what is more costly.

We are human. We look for things in all the wrong places and ignore the source, all while God is offering Himself to us freely. Let God be the source of fulfillment for you as you fast because He is offering it to you! Next time you are offered free food, be reminded of the free gifts that God offers to us each day.

Michael Clinger