As announced, Daniel Fast is starting next Sunday. Daniel Fast is simply living 21 days (starting 21 days before Easter) with just vegetable and water, with media fast, focusing on prayer.
Just like many of us, I get a bit anxious leading up to this time of the year. I love meat and sugary desert so that doesn’t make it any easier. But I thought about why I was feeling anxious and stressed. Then I realized that I was viewing it as the time of “detox”, not a “reorientation”.
If we merely think of this fast as “detox”, that means once the 21 days are over, we are going to go right back to what we used to do, only to detox again next year. But Daniel Fast is actually an opportunity to reorient our relationship with our food and technology/media. Daniel fast is a wonderful opportunity to rethink about what we really value as we distance ourselves from what we aimlessly and mindlessly engaged with. That is why our media consumption is often not satisfying but only numbing. It doesn’t give us genuine rest and relaxation we need and seek. Often It only makes us forget about our reality and responsibility.
What gives us happiness is not consumption. It is doing something that is consistent with our deep-seated value and desire. As long as our consumption lines up with what we genuinely believe to be the best for us, it is perfectly fine. But when we are already over-consuming, often it requires us to completely disengage with them for a period of time to reflect what we really value and what we want to do differently in light that.
So we are going to do something different this year. We are going to get an official sign up for Daniel Fast. And in the form, you will be asked to fill out your “one prayer request during the fast” and “one new habit you want to continue after the fast”. This way, those who are participating will not think about simply going through the fast with agony and stress, but with anticipation of building a brand new habit that is consistent with their deep-seated value and purpose.
So if you are planning to participate, take this week to think about what dietary and media consumption habit that you want to stop, and what new habit you desire to form after the fast. I believe this fast could be the most soul-nourishing time if we see it as an opportunity to reorient our life patterns according to God’s purpose for our lives, rather than detox we have to suffer through.