Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Fast = Slow


Our church is entering a time of fasting and prayer. I am not an expert faster. I did a 40 Hour Famine with my youth group in high school and it was more fun than hardship. I probably concentrated more on the youth group guys than God during those 40 hours...

I've learned more about fasting as an adult, but it seems every time a corporate fasting opportunity arises, I am pregnant or nursing a baby. So I have always opted out with a rock solid excuse. Very convenient for one who is way too dependent on food. Ask Frank. I am one angry girl if I'm hungry. I have a hard time waiting to eat. So this time, I am nursing once again, and it would be really easy to not participate. But when I think of the sacrifice Jesus was for me, surely I can give up something that would cause me to lean on God a little bit more in daily life. But what?

So I prayed one of those scary prayers saying...God...I want to please you...I want to depend more on you and think about you more each day...if you want me to give something up instead of fasting...let me know...(and then I secretly hoped God would tell me that I didn't have to give anything up.)

For a couple of days nothing really came to mind. And then today...I got this thought...what about giving up...coffee.
I tried to argue. God are you sure??? Coffee? Does it have to be the coffee? I love coffee. Why does it have to be the coffee?? It was a short argument.

Abstaining from coffee it is. Probably until February. I almost laughed as I went to read my Bible today. I've been going through Romans and here's the passage for today:

Romans 12:1-2
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual[a] act of worship. 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.


In the great scope of God's mercy, giving up coffee for less than a month is such a stupid and ridiculously small thing to do...but yet it will be difficult for me AND my body to stick to! Thus the point of a fast, right? But I have to think that obeying in the small stuff will lead to obeying when it comes to big stuff. I want to experience God's good, pleasing and perfect will. I want to worship through sacrifice. So bubbye to beautiful brewing beans for now.

(I share this not to brag or try to make you give up stuff...it's just so that if I am short with you or a little slow...well...I might need your grace a little more than usual. Plus it can't hurt the accountability factor if my friends and family are in on this....)

7 comments:

Mare said...

Beth I think it's a fantastic choice. It's really the small things that generally eat away at us.

Props to you for doing this and I hope you find that when the coffee withdrawls happen...God is there. =)

Dish This! said...

Hi Beth. I know how you feel. I gave up coffee for Lent one year. Well, actually I gave up caffeine, but I did not drink decaf either. I figured that would be too much wiggle room.
If you switch to giving up caffeine, do NOT go cold turkey! Massive headache. I get another just remembering it.
You can do it. Are their any herbal teas that you like. You can still have the warmth of coffee, it not the taste. Oh yeah, even real tea has caffeine in it if you need it. And diet pop. (See why giving up caffeine all at once was a bad idea).
You are tagged.

Rob said...

Anne is admiring of you. My first thought was to go grind some beans. Sorry, I'm fallen.

Anne also said you could try this: http://www.teeccino.com

Good Luck!

Beth said...

Too late. A big ol' headache today and I fell asleep twice this afternoon without wanting to. I didn't think I drank THAT much coffee...but I really do! Rob, tell Anne thanks for the site, I may try that...and there's a good caffeine addiction quiz on there if anyone is interested.

katdish said...

Well, I support your decision to abstain from coffee. Having said that, between Steph giving up sugar and you giving up coffee, I'm wondering if should tone down my sarcastic attitude for awhile -- don't won't any cranky-pants comments on my blog! (Except for Sherri, of course.)

wv: muffen "Steph couldn't eat the chocolate muffen, so she gave it to Beth, but she was pissed because she couldn't wash it down with a good cup of joe."

Annie K said...

I decided to give up coffee before my first trip to Mexico in 02' because I'm not going to need coffee in Mexico, right? I mean it's hot and all and who wants to drink coffee when it's 90 at 7am... BIG mistake. Oy, the headaches. So, kudos to you. But give us fair warning if you're a little on the edgy side.

wv: shedab

Shedab a little coffee grounds on her body in hopes it will soak in.

Lisa Joy said...

Beth, I'll be praying for you during these next few weeks! Let us know how it's going.