When we think of Lent, we probably think of fasting—especially fasting from food. But recently I saw a little prayer that encouraged us to both fast and feast for Lent. With that thought in mind, here are a few things we might want to fast from and some things we might want to feast on for Lent.
Let us fast from words that belittle, tear down, pollute: “You’re stupid!…That’s a dumb idea!…Can’t you do anything right?” And let’s feast on words that respect, praise, encourage: “You’re great!…That’s a good idea…I really appreciate your talents.”
Let us fast from complaining: “Darn it!…People are so greedy…This world is a terrible place.” And let us feast on appreciation: “How nice! Thank you!…People can be incredibly generous…This world is a fascinating place!”
Let us fast from concern only for ourselves: “Me first!…I don’t care about anybody else…What’s in it for me?” And let us feast on compassion: “How can I help you?…We are all one human family and earth family …What’s in it for us?”
Let us fast from lethargy: “I’m too tired to do anything… I’m only one person… Let someone else do it.” And let us feast on enthusiasm: “I can and will do something about that… One person can make a difference… I will ask the Holy Spirit to enliven me with grace.”
Let us fast from fear: “You can’t trust anybody… I’m powerless… The future is terrifying.” And let us feast on trust in God: “Most people are basically trustworthy… I can do good because God strengthens me… The future is exciting because God is already there.”
Let us fast from impatience: “This computer (microwave, tea kettle, check-out line) is so slow!… That stupid driver just cut me off!… Why isn’t God doing something about this problem?” And let us feast on patience: “This is a minor inconvenience… I’ll let that other driver go ahead of me… I know God’s time-table is not always my time-table.”
Let us fast from hostility: “I hate those people… An eye for an eye… I’ll get even. Wait and see.” And let us feast on forgiveness: “There is no those people. We are all us... Love your enemies… Forgiveness is the greatest form of love.”
Let us fast from cynicism: “This world will never get better… Give up already… What’s the use?” And let us feast on hope: “We can all help to make this world a better place… Let’s work together!… God is with us!”
Lent is all about returning home to God—whether we have wandered many miles from God or only a few yards. This song, “Come Back to Me,” is based on the words of the prophet Hosea. It was written by Gregory Norbert and is sung here by John Michael Talbot. May we hear our loving God saying these beautiful words to us throughout our Lenten journey. I wish you all a rich and beautiful Lent!
What are you going to fast from this Lent? What are you going to feast on?
Is there anything you would add to the list of things to fast from and feast on?
If there is anything you would like to share with us, we’d enjoy hearing from you!