Sunday, 15 March 2009

Filey Parish: Blogging for Lent- Hunger & Fasting

What fasting? Yesterday I had a great big piece of chocolate cake at the vicarage. It was lovely! I’m aware that my behaviour and propensity to indulge bad habits has radically altered since I asked God into my life, but he’s still working on chocolate cake… and chocolate biscuits… and chocolate oranges…. and chocolate! The crisis that led me to Him cured me of this addiction, along with every other kind of appetite, for a couple of weeks. I remember thinking that I was going to lose a lot of weight if it continued- not that I cared much at the time, it was just a passing thought. Looking back I suppose this was a kind of fasting, but as it was imposed on me there was no act of will involved- not my will anyway. As my appetite recovered I managed to resist the growing pull emanating from the sideboard for a few more weeks before finally caving in.
There is another kind of hunger which I can’t seem to satisfy, and I’m not sure if I want to. It would be nice if there was a cupboard I could go to which, instead of containing Cadburys, contained this other thing. But no matter how hard I look, I can’t find this piece of furniture anywhere. People tell me that the storehouse for this particular foodstuff is a book, a very old book. I’ve looked in it but it just seems full of paper most of the time, although sometimes a tantalising crumb falls out.
Whilst I am discouraged from hunting around the house for bad food, people actually encourage me to indulge this other craving. Whilst chocolate is certainly bad for me, the other has the power to renew me I am told- not just help me lose weight but to purge every conceivable toxin. As a side effect it can make me live for ever apparently…. a claim which even good bacteria doesn’t make for fear of prosecution!
I think that fasting is probably a good idea (Excuse my flippancy- I think it was God’s idea), a way to deny yourself and test your ability to exercise your will power- or ‘self-control’ as Paul called it- a fruit of the spirit. It reminds you of what Jesus went through and what less fortunate people are going through right now in some parts of the world. And in your weakened condition you may just find yourself facing a cupboard with a lock in the shape of a cross. Let me know if you find the key.
As for me- maybe next year?

1 comment:

  1. Hello Peter. It's her again! I suggest you watch the film "Chocolat". I am serious! All life is there: the fight between fasting (for pious ritual)and love, care for an abused woman, relief for an over-protected child, courage for a man who wanted to get to know a widow, reaching out to the marginalised, giving new life to someone nearing the end of her life, healing relationships, leaving the bad things of the past behind .... I could go on. It repays watching more than once.
    In Christ

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