Newberg Friends Church in the US is currently conducting a six-week corporate fast. This doesn't mean all the members are refraining from food, rather that every member is being encouraged to consider giving up non-essential activities and things that do not feed them spiritually.
AJ Schwanz has a great, thought-provoking and honest post about the way that the first Meeting after the start of the fast went, and how it felt to have her children with her in Meeting.
I was also interested to read the post before that. She had been brought up short by Isaiah 58, and hadn't been able to read past it, so she had brought it to the planning meeting for the fast and shared it with everyone there. She reprints the text and asks if any verse resonates with her readers.
Well, I have been aware for a while now that I am spending too much time online faffing around and doing nothing, and also that my overall time online is impinging on the time I need for reading, sleeping, and sitting in the Light, so I was very drawn to the idea of the fast anyway. When I read Isaiah 58, part of v11 really stuck out for me: 'You shall be like a watered garden'.
It's so long since I have felt anything but exhausted, dehydrated and frazzled - physically, mentally and spiritually. I'm not looking after myself properly, and I want to feel that contentment and health again. I may not be able to cure myself physically, but I can do a much better job of ensuring I get the rest I need, and that I eat nourishing food instead of things I like but which are not good for me (chocolate, I am looking at you....)
If I am not looking after myself physically, that affects how I am mentally. Mental overwork and stress tire me out as quickly as physical overwork and stress, and can be just as simply dealt with. And I never feel spiritually fulfilled if I don't spend time with the source of my spiritual nourishment!
The whole verse actually goes like this:
The LORD will guide you continually,
And satisfy your soul in drought,
And strengthen your bones;
You shall be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
I could really do with some strength in my bones, and some quenching of drought. It's in my hands now - it's up to me to accept the offer and do the right thing.
Watch this space....