Sunday, March 10, 2013

Bananas, detox, and the discipline of fasting.

Did you know that bananas are technically a berry? Weird, huh?(thank you @UberFacts)
We eat a lot of bananas in my house, And bananas are tricky. Buy too many and they go bad before we eat them; buy too few and I start to get snippy with the kid that just grabbed the last one. The One I needed for baby's breakfast. I don't always notice these kinds of details, but food has been on my mind lately. My bible study has been doing a book together by Jen Hatmaker, called Seven. The main premise is how we live in major excess and how fasting in these areas opens up our hearts to joy and freedom in Christ. This first week was focused on food and the goal was to pick seven foods and eat only those for seven days.
So, like most "homework" in my life, I have a tendency to do just enough to get by and make a lot of excuses for what I don't do. I am the queen of justifying my choices. I might have turned this into a list of nine foods rather than seven and somehow justified my daily cup(s) of black coffee. My fast wasn't exactly by the book. That was the point, though. You don't fast for the sake of fasting, but so that you create for God to work. I also learned that I eat I lot of little things that easily go unnoticed by everyone except my waistline. Bite of cheese here, a spoonful of peanut butter there. And isn't that the way it is with God? It isn't the big stuff keeping us from joy in Him, but the little distractions. This week of less sugar, less choices, less unhealthy stuff has led to more headaches, more complaining, and more selfish itsallaboutme behavior. Apparently, sugar is like crack to my system and taking it away sent me on a downward crashing spiral that ended in my screaming at my kids. But when the detox subsided and my body started to feel healthier, my soul started to experience the same cleansing. I have listened more, trusted Him in new ways, and seen how he speaks to us in our daily routines. When did food become more than just a blessing and a fuel for life? When did it become the answer for stress, pain, and boredom? What about the person that doesn't have the kind of excess I have or even goes days with out any food at all? Am I so selfish to think I deserve that sleeve of thin mints?
Pete Bowell said something at Hope today that had me thinking. We have become too central in our own stories. Why do we do that? Why is it all about me sometimes? In Colossians 1:17 it says in Him all things hold together. I am newly aware that He is at work in even the little details. It isn't a coincidence that I have had so many opportunities this week to talk about what He is teaching me. When the junk is cleared away, we have space to fill...and when we are filled up, we have overflow to share. I don't want to be living the barely scraping by, empty bucket kind of life. Less of me, more of Him: keeping that sentence on repeat in my brain.
This week, bananas were on my approved food list and I have enjoyed each and every one I ate. When you take away the junk and start to only eat a healthy list of foods, your body starts to savor the good stuff. Frozen bananas were like a dessert to me, maybe even better than dessert. Just like the good food that fills, I long for the good Word that fills(cheesy...I know. But true)
I feel like life this week has been sweeter.
And I didn't need high fructose corn syrup to get there.