During my days of earnest efforts to become a super spiritual person, effectively trying to please god, I picked up another tool to tap God to listen to me – Fasting. It reminds me of the hunger strikes people do to get the attention of the people in the authority. Hunger strikes usually put a lot of pressure on the authority, because there is a risk of media attention and also if the person dies (in case), that would be a huge blow to their political image. I thought God had a political image and tried to utilize His ego in a sentimental approach.
Also, Jesus fasted; apostles fasted (not sure if it was to get the attention of God).
Apart from the monthly church-wide fasting, I decided to fast on Wednesdays by my own. The entire day I wouldn’t eat any food, but pretty much survive with water and coffee/tea. The first Wednesday went really well. I felt hungry but didn’t give up and I was secretly happy that I climbed one more step on the ladder of taming my flesh. I thought the more I control the desires of my flesh, the more God would be pleased in me and would listen to my prayers. As weeks went by, I added yogurt and fruits to my diet on Wednesdays. There were some of my co-workers who would come and invite me for lunch without realizing it’s a Wednesday. Then I would tell them, ‘Don’t you guys know that today is Wednesday?’ Later on they stopped inviting me. There was this Greek restaurant where they sold Gyro Sandwiches which I craved all the time. Some Wednesdays these people would go there and before they leave from office they would discuss the menu. When I overhear their conversations about the menu items, I go mad, sitting in my cubicle, silently cursing those nonspiritual worldly pagans.
After few months, I added supper on Wednesdays. Which means, I don’t eat breakfast, eat only fruits and yogurt for lunch and then I eat supper at night like a pig. One other secret reason to start the fasting was to lose weight as well (Shhhh…..!). In effect, due to my Yo-Yo eating, I started gaining weight and the whole thing made me miserable. I felt as if I was in the middle of a dragon and the ocean. On one side all my co-workers know that I do fasting on Wednesdays and I was afraid of their ridicule if I gave up, the other side I am dying inside and pretty much craving all foods. By this time, God is already out of the picture. I even wondered who invented fasting in the first place. I started hating all the people who eat their lunch. I found a solution though – go under hiding during lunch break and get something from outside, eat in the car. That worked. Everybody thought I was fasting but at the same time I wasn’t hungry and miserable. I started loving my wife and kids more and my dislike towards my co-workers lessened and I felt relieved. But deep inside my heart I still questioned myself and god, why I have no strength to fast successfully.
Eventually I gave up my fasting game and started eating lunch like everybody. Overall, it wasn’t a pleasant experience and I have never fasted since then.