the fast you have chosen

i suck at lenten fasts.

once in college i gave up free-cell [my time-waste of choice in that pre-facebook/twitter era] and didn't make it past march.

another year i fasted from meat...until taste of asia culture night.  white rice and lychee weren't gonna cut it then or later when our whole apartment wafted with aromas of leftover lumpia, pancit, and half a dozen handmade-with-mama-love curries. 

i am the very worst ascetic.

this year i gave up white sugar.  not all sugar, treats, or dessert, mind you.  just white sugar:  the stuff i shouldn't be eating anyway in my desire to feed my family whole, real food.

i did pretty good, for a while.  i said no to pie and after-church goodies.  i made pudding with honey and molasses.  i drank my coffee with turbinado sugar or none at all.  my friend steph made me an insanely delicious olive oil pound cake with a honey blood orange compote for my birthday which we devoured in one weekend.  we also enjoyed vodka cocktails with her spicy homemade ginger brown-sugar-syrup, so life around here has hardly been devoid of merriment.

and yet, i totally fell off the wagon. i had cake at a birthday party, and since i'd already had cake, why not stop at rita's for custard?

jim brought home a tray of coffee cake from camp's kitchen, and after having a piece (or four), what's a bowl of  ice cream for dessert?

slipping is incremental.  exactly like sin.

but why do i feel like since it's all shot to hell, i might as well give up and sin bigger? what is that?

i also vowed to not turn on the computer until i'd spent some time with God.  again, this worked pretty well for a while.  until it didn't.

i'm beginning to think the vows themselves are missing the point.

if i "fail" by checking my email before heading to my meeting (or cracking open my bible) and never consider picking it up again because the day was already "ruined," my fast isn't driving me to the throne of grace.
You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high.
something is amiss.   

there is nothing spiritual about a discipline that is all about me and my goals and none about grace and my King.

praise God that his mercies are new every morning--including this one.

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