Think “Fast”!

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“Fasting is that weird thing religious people do where you don’t eat so that you can go to heaven or something. I dunno. Pass the bacon.”

Or it’s a way to focus your mind, body, and spirit, exercise self-control and channel your energy away from cramming things down your foodhole and towards other things you may be trying to accomplish.

I’ve already written about the religious aspects of fasting, and won’t go into that again save to say that, at least in Christian tradition, there are no hard-and-fast fasting rules in Scripture; it’s all based on ancient traditions. If I had to boil the practice down to a sentence, it would be this:

A little humility does a lot of good.

First, let me acknowledge the elephant in the room.

Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;

That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.

Matthew 6:16-18

But I’m not doing this for reward or accolades. I’m just trying to pass along an experience that’s worked for me in the event that maybe it’ll work for you.

So why am I fasting, even though Lent and Easter finished months ago?

Am I trying to lose weight? Who isn’t? Intermittent fasting is a thing that many say helps achieve your fitness goals. And while this is a part of why I’m fasting now–it’s nice to not feel stuffed and bloated, weight down by all the garbage we tend to eat!–that’s not the only reason I’m fastinjg.

Am I trying to accomplish something? I was. I was working furiously to finish the second draft of my book, which I did last week a little past the deadline I set for me, but it’s done regardless. Still, there are always other things we want to accomplish in our lives.

Am I trying to commune with The Spirit? Yes. This one is a bit more subtle, but there are things in my life that need work, and I’m taking a page out of Jesus’ book: “. . . this kind [of demon] goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.” Continue reading “Think “Fast”!”

The Day I Stopped Caring About Sports

I remember the exact day I stopped caring about sports. It was Thursday, July 17, 2010, right after game 7 of that year’s NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers. 

I’m a Celtics fan. Or was. Now I’m just a…what? A casual observer? But when I was all-in on my fandom, I was rabid (just ask my wife). 

Every game…every player…every stat…I couldn’t get enough. Whenever the Cs were on, I had to watch them. Bill Russell, Larry Bird and the others were the legends, but Paul Pierce was my favorite player. And when the Celtics traded for Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen in the summer prior to the 2008 season, it was like Christmas had come early. 

And whenever playoff time came around, I watched every game even if my team wasn’t in it, because I just loved basketball

I loved the way that a basketball team operates as a unit, but each player still has the ability to use their talents and creativity to shine. 

The basketball-as-jazz analogy has been done to death, but it really fits. The coach could be seen as the conductor, trying to organize the chaos. The center is perhaps the bass player, the foundation supporting the team down low. The power-forward might be the drummer, crashing and bashing and asserting the tempo. The point guard could be the pianist, the conductor-on-the-floor who also gets to step out and shine when appropriate. And the small forward and shooting guard are like horn players, trumpet and sax, the soloists, taking turns as the dynamic scorers. 

And like in music, players who can do more than their roles suggest are exciting to watch and add a new dimension to the composition. A center who can shoot threes! A shooting guard with low-post moves! A power forward who’s a great passer! 

So the game itself captured my imagination, thanks to my father, at a young age. Why wouldn’t I be hooked on watching the best of the best do what they do? Continue reading “The Day I Stopped Caring About Sports”