Right now, I’m working my way through a beautiful devotional called “Savor,” written by Shauna Niequist (highly recommend).
In her daily devotion for January 13, she writes:
I’m learning, slowly, a rhythm of feasting and fasting that brings a rich cadence to my year. I use the word fasting loosely, as on opposite term to feasting – permission and discipline, necessary slides back and forth along the continuum of how we feed ourselves.
…fasting gives me a chance to practice the discipline of not having what I want at every moment, of limiting my consumption, making space in my body and spirit for a new year, one that’s not driven by my mouth, by wanting, by consuming.
She also includes, simply, this bible verse:
“A feast is made for laughter.”
Something I’ve grown to realize is that life passes in seasons. Seasons of pain, followed by seasons of understanding. Seasons of restlessness, followed by seasons of contentment.
Seasons of fasting, followed by seasons of feasting.
Tonight, my family enjoyed time together by going out for pizza and ice cream. I know – me? Pizza and ice cream?
Yes, me. Pizza AND ice cream.
I ate. I talked. I laughed. I enjoyed. I felt thankful and just plain full, without feeling guilty in the least.
And it brought me back to this beautiful idea of feasting and fasting.
Tonight was a feast.
Tomorrow will bring a fast of sorts – discipline, routine, a different sort of nourishment based on need rather than want.
In my personal nutrition journey, becoming mindful of these seasons has been crucial to finding contentment in a healthy lifestyle. I’ve become less begrudging about piling my plate with healthy foods – quite the opposite, in fact. I crave these nutrient-rich powerhouses because my body needs them, and I don’t feel like it’s a drag because I know that a small, treat-like season of feasting is just around the corner.
The feasting becomes more enjoyable, too –
I can enjoy my pizza, my ice cream, because I know that before long enough, the feast will be over and it’ll be time to return to my routine. So I’d better enjoy it while I can, guilt-free! We only get one life, right?
Shauna is right – tuning in to these beautiful cadences of feasting and fasting brings such a richness to life. These ups and downs bring us closer to our true balance, and before long, we may find that we don’t need such extreme ups and downs – our changing seasons will become much more subtle, and much more enjoyable.
Are you in a season of feasting or fasting right now? Are you feeling balanced, or out of control? Is it time to move toward another season?