Saturday, September 3, 2011

Fast or Famine

I decided to attempt a good old fashioned Catholic fast from meat on Fridays (three weeks ago). And I failed as each Friday came & went. I'm not usually a big meat eater- once a week is extravagant. But I noticed that I seem to crave meat more toward the end of each week now. Yesterday was yet another Friday. I made a conscious decision to avoid the freshly cooked drumsticks sitting in the fridge. This time, I was successful. I'm not saying this to boast. I have nothing to boast about. Attempting the fast has shown me that the Bible is true when it says the law makes me a sinner, but where there is no law, there is no transgression. If I had not made a point to fast on Fridays, I could eat meat to my heart's content because my heart would not condemn me. But when a requirement is imposed, when an expectation hangs in the air, my heart is challenged to fulfill the requirement or fail... And if I fail, I bear the weight of guilt, of perceived sin, of a profound deficiency in my conviction & sense of power. “Its just chicken, for crying out loud, how can eating it be sin?!” It has nothing to do with the meat itself, but my obedience to the concept- can I lay this thing down for one day? The threat sends me reeling. Suddenly, I must have steak. I must cook chicken. I must fry sausage. And so it goes, the “law” shines its spotlight on my greedy little soul. If the law were not at work, I wouldn't care what I ate. But the law is present & the law is good because it reminds me of what lurks inside. Without the law, I might not care. Without the law, I might not notice my need for change, let alone my need for a Savior.

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