I am going to try and fast Ramadan this year. I’ll take a bit of time off work to make it a little easier and allow me to get more reading done.
I am looking forward to the challenge, but also knowing that there is a high chance I will fail at some point. I have fasted whole days in the past, but never more than one day in a row. I think I have to be realistic about the fact that my willpower might give out, and resolve to not get downhearted if it happens, but pick myself up and try again the next day.
When I joined the pentecostal church at 19, and I got to hear about fasting, it was so new and radical to me. I remember being in a conversation about fasting, and being brave enough to ask the “why” question – at which point an uncomfortable silence fell as their faces clocked the realisation that there was an impostor in the ranks! It had just never been a part of my prior Church of Scotland experience. Traditional church gives people a really easy ride.
I enjoyed fasting with the church. I experienced it as stepping out of my comfort zone to reach out to God. I learnt to fast off my own bat when I felt the need, too. Unfortunately my fast was always part of a supplication for something specific. I had learnt that fasting was a tool in badgering God for what I wanted, which sowed seeds of disappointment. Is fasting for the hope of a reward in the afterlife any better? I suppose it is better, but the best motivation would be just to please God and grow more conscious of God, I think.
So now, I simply intend on breaking my enslavement to satiety; experiencing in a renewed way my fragility and utter dependence on sustenance; rediscovering gratitude for the simple fulfilment of a simple need. God knows I take so much for granted.
I want to choose the path of hope and enlightenment. I don’t want to be told I can’t do it by anyone, not even the voice in my head.
I want to choose the path of hope and enlightenment. I tried, I had setbacks, I get bogged down with worries over the details of religion… but I’m still trying.