In a land of extreme abundance, spiritual hunger can ravage our lives. Too often we attempt to curb the deep rumblings in our spirit by filling our bodies and lives with more and more stuff. In this age of mass, easy, seemingly never-ending consumption, the discipline of fasting can reap enormous benefits. In the place of unhealthy urges, fasting creates room for God to teach us to rightly enjoy his gifts. Below are a few fasts you might consider.
- Food Fast. If this is new to you, begin with partial fasts. Fast over breakfast or lunch and grow from there. Try to use times otherwise set aside to eat to instead pray, confess, meditate on scripture, sing, or simply be still in the presence of God.
- Media Fast. Try to turn off, turn down, or tune out various media for a time. Sometimes making a conscious decision to restrict our intake frees meaningful amounts of time and opens formative mental space. In its place. Use the time to think, pray, and engage in deeper connection with God and others.
- Shopping Fast. Consider a fast from shopping for non-essential items. Use the opportunity to examine ways you might use purchases to fill voids, cope with difficulty, fit in, fight boredom, or seek approval. Allow the exercise to remind you of the difference between needs and wants. Consider using the funds for acts of generosity.
- Other. You know those things in your life that occasionally get in the way of greater depth in God. Enter a time of voluntary, momentary restriction, not as much out of a sense of obligation as opportunity.