fasting makes me grumpy

I discovered something today. It wasn't even necessarily something new - just a new phraseology that made me see it a little differently, I guess. I was standing in the laundry room, leaning against the door and praying - somewhat frantically I might add - and that prayer went something along these lines:

"I can't. God, I just... I can't. I can't do this. I need your help. I am starving, I am tired, I have a million things to do, and I have no patience. I really need you to help me. I'm sorry, God, I know You're really busy and You have a billion things to do..."

And I heard His whisper: "Never feel guilty for needing me, Hap..."

You know, I hadn't really registered - until I said it out loud just that way - that I really do. That my perfectionist, "be all things to all people" thing that I struggle with so much (and yes, I know that's a wrong application of Paul's words, but I still find myself doing it) has actually led me to feel guilty for doing exactly what He said to do - approaching His throne of grace with confidence so as to find mercy in my time of need... (Hebrews 4:15-16)

*sigh* more places to grow, I guess. I seem to be finding an awful lot of them lately.

Fasting, for instance. In reading the Sermon on the Mount for class this semester, I've been thinking about that a lot... and I know what Jesus says about it has so much to do with our religious attitudes, but I just find myself wondering... what am I supposed to do with the fact that when I do fast, I just tend to be a whole lot more irritable? Is the process of being disciplined about doing it anyway going to eventually eek that irritability out of me? I doubt it... tho who knows, maybe it could... and is breaking a fast that God called me to wrong if I'm doing it because I'm realizing that I can't do everything and be everything all at once, and that simply eating something will improve my attitude immensely? I'm not sure... and find myself not knowing whether to feel like a failure or not... :P

answer: err on the side of "not" and just trust mercy...?


Rob said...

Trusting mercy is never an error.

(Using it as an excuse to get away with as much as you possibly can is, but that's absolutely not on point here.)

Sara said...

have you read Lauren Winner on fasting? Not just Mudhouse Sabbath--it's interesting to see how her thought has developed on the subject in Real Sex. P. 127.

Happy said...

lol... no, i didn't get that far yet. But I think we should make that our first book up for discussion on the book club blog.

Speaking of which, you never did put in your two cents on the name? Jemila and Erin both had some great ones... we need some tie-breaking votes. :)

Ruth said...

You reminded me of something else that Paul said "when I am weak He is strong".

Are you fasting for lent? Please tell me about lent. I was raised in a denomination that doesn't do lent so I am don't know much about it other than we are suposed to give up something for a period of time before Easter.

Happy said...

Thanks for the reminder, Ruth. I need to remember that more often, that my weakness gives God the opportunity to show Himself strong. So often I just get caught up in the "failure" dimension of things, and forget His ability to work in and through it.

Your question about Lent is a good one. More to come, probably tomorrow, because I want to give you a good answer, and not just a late night comment. :)