What’s better? Setting a high goal and coming really close but not reaching it or setting an achievable goal and accomplishing it?
As we get closer to the launch of Sozo Church, I’ve entered into a 40 day fast. The goal of the fast was to unplug from the world and connect more with God prior to the launch. I’m excited for what God is doing in me and through our community here so I was very much excited at the idea of fasting (which isn’t normal for me).
My goal was to do 7 days of water only, 7 days of liquids, then 7 days of veggies only, followed by some combinations of fasting meals during certain times of the day. Adding up to 40 days and ending right before launch.
Well things were going great until day 3. Started feeling shaky. Then nauseous. So I returned home to get a little R&R. I went to the restroom and an hour later, woke up on the floor of my apartment, face first in the ground, mouth full of carpet, and my head about a foot from my wooden bed frame.
I passed out.
I’ve never been worried about living alone until after this. The idea that I could’ve hit my head and had some serious complications without being found for a few days is pretty daunting. Now when people are moving to SF, I don’t recommend they live alone. At all.
I ate some food and would go on to finish the water only portion of the fast (with a few snacks here and there so I wouldn’t pass out again). I started the liquids only part full of optimism and excited only to pass out again (thankfully this time I was safely in bed).
I’ve since adjusted my fast to reflect the amount of walking I get to do in San Francisco (as well as some pretty unruly hills I get to climb). I’ve learned a lot about myself and my estimations of my ability to withstand the rigors of caloric intake requirements. I wish I could be telling you that I’m a super Christian and can fast like Jesus did. Unfortunately, I am not. I love tacos, burgers, pizza, and a myriad of other foods. I am a weak man. Judge me all you want - I know Jesus loves me. In some ways, I feel foolish for having failed. More importantly, I feel closer to God for having recognized my need for him and my limitations.
2 Corinthians 12:9-11 gives me some great perspective on my fasting failures.
“Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
I'm learning to pleasure in my weaknesses. My inability to be a super Christian is a magnifying glass of my need for Jesus. There are no great Christians, only a great Christ. Even Jesus said that if you want to be great, then become a servant (there are no spots on the Avengers for a servant). I’ll admit that I wanted to be amazing going into this launch. I’ve come to realize it’s so much better if I keep a perspective of how amazing God is. What He can do - with or without my fasting - is infinitely greater. So I’m going to keep fasting what I can and get closer to God. More importantly, I’m going to trust Him to build His church and I’m going to embrace the weakness that He brings strength to.