It’s Ash Wednesay, almost 10 a.m., and I want to eat something.
But, I also don’t want to eat something, because I turned fourteen a few years ago now, and today is one of the days where we’re supposed to fast, and I believe fasting to be a good thing, so instead I drum my fingers on my desk and plug along.
Before you think I’m awesome, know this: I’m not. I’m just trying, just like you (maybe). I ate a yogurt this morning, have a recycled container (it used to hold cheese) of mushroom soup in my bag, because we’re allowed one full meal per day, plus two meals which together don’t equal one full meal, so, yeah, I’m doing my best.
But, I want to eat something right now because I usually snack right about now.
But I also don’t want to, because I believe these practices to be helpful for my growth.
And so I ask myself, instead: why do you want to eat something, self?
Answer: because I’m bored. I’m unhappy. I want a thrill.
Oh, OK. That was way more telling than I expected. Why else?
Because then I’ll be satiated off of a pleasure for a moment, and I can forget how tired I am (because I didn’t go to bed at a good time/ woke up early for the bus), how hurts continue to exist (saw more injustices yesterday…why?!?), how hard the cold wears upon me, how I have so many pressing questions and so few answers.
This is why I fast, I guess, much like why I pray in silence. Because there are things going on at deeper levels, if only I’ll take the time to listen.