I have a hard time making space for God in my life. This has often been the case, but is best illustrated through an experience I once had.
In college, I was first introduced to the spiritual discipline of fasting when the campus ministry I was part of did a week-long fast. You read that right…a week-long, liquid-only, pray-your-guts-out fast. I was intrigued by the notion of making space for God in my life so I quickly signed up. In preparation for it, we came up with several ways to band together and press into God during this time. And while I’d love to say that my motivation was 100% spiritual, I’d be lying. I saw other people doing it and I thought, “If they can do it, so can I!”…there’s nothing like a little “Christian peer pressure”.
As we entered the week-long fast, we took time during the day to meet. We would sing, talk, pray…anything to help us focus on God in place of the time we would spend eating. Now let me say, fasting in and of itself is not some magically transforming spiritual practice. You can fast with little to no spiritual element. For me, the spiritual element came by taking the time and energy put into food (in this instance) and replacing it with intentional time with God. Add in a healthy dose of community for support, and I happened upon a new found love of fasting.
This week we have the opportunity to experience this same transformation…taking time to fast from one thing, to make space for God in our everyday life. I know that I could stand to clear out some things in my life to make room…for God to speak and move and to simply rest in His presence. May we always be willing to let go of things in our life to make space for a God who is already there.
And let me be honest, I have never done a week-long fast again. 🙂