“One more hour without food,” I said to myself. It felt like an eternity – it had been 30 hours … without … food. I felt like a martyr, a saint, a spiritual giant – all for the people who have no food and die of starvation all over the world … Wait a second – I really am a spoiled, fat, American – Jesus fasted for 40 days – 40 DAYS! I’d never missed a meal in my life, but in these moments of famine (it was the self imposed 30 Hour Famine to raise money for hungry kids around the world), I felt like I was going to die, or hit someone, or both – I wasn’t sure which was more likely. Then, after the next eternity (or 1 hour), I ate, a lot, and then I puked, a little.
And then it was over – the fast, the hunger pains, the desire to hit someone, and some of the spiritual sensitivity that had come with it. One thing did linger – the realization that spiritual health and physical health are not the same thing. Fasting physically, though bad for your body, can tune your spirit in a beautiful way. I had heard things from God in that time that I’ll never forget, and the awareness of the plight of the world’s hungry rings in my spirit to this day.
I would recommend fasting regularly to tune your spirit to God’s, and I would also recommend taking to heart these lifelong observations about spiritual health . . .
- Spiritual health begins when you go about the simple yet constant task of tuning your spiritual ear to the voice of the Holy Spirit.
- Spiritual health takes root when you embrace God’s habits of thought that transform your mind.
- Spiritual health multiples upgrades in you when God’s deepest desires are yours, and they line up with your daily rhythm of thoughts, words and actions. (Romans 8:5)
Christian philosopher Dallas Willard recognized, “Habits eat willpower for breakfast.” So no matter what you’re eating for breakfast – begin to train your habits of thought to God’s voice – and health will find you, even if you’re puking J.