Fasting To Focus, Or Focusing On The Fast?

I don’t remember the last time I actually felt real hunger.

The other day I didn’t have time for a decent breakfast before rushing out the door to work. So I grabbed a protein bar and munched on the way.

That morning was pretty busy. I didn’t have time to get up and grab a snack, which I do more often than I’d like to admit. By lunchtime, I was starting to feel hunger pangs, and I realized I almost never wait until I am actually feeling hunger before I eat.

In an earlier post I talked about fasting, and the struggle to conquer our passions. And here I am posting about food again, I’m making plain the struggle I’m having as we approach the Great Fast.

I know I’m supposed to be preparing to pray more, to study more, to give more. But I’m thinking about food. I haven’t even skipped a meal yet. In fact, I’m eating more lately, as if I’m a bear storing up fat reserves for the coming winter.

Cradle Orthodox must shake their heads at us rookies. They hear the same stories over and over as new converts talk about their struggles with food. Never mind the struggle over sin, or performing acts of charity and kindness to the widow or the fatherless or the destitute. Guys like me are pouring coals upon our own heads and wearing sackcloth over having to give up hamburgers for a month.

It’s got to get better, right?

Surely one day I’ll go into Great Lent with a peace that comes from having controlled my passions. Surely I will lean completely on Christ who suffered for me to help me in a time of mild discomfort.

I said in that earlier post that I’m hopeful. Yet today I’m discouraged. It really is all about food for me right now.

Regular readers: I’d like to ask you to consider leaving a comment below. It’s easy and doesn’t take much time, and would be an encouragement. Are you prepared for the fast? Do you struggle with your hunger, or has it become such a part of your life that you slide into Lent without missing a beat?