My Fasting Routine

It's Lent and a lot of us are fasting this time of year. So I thought I'd share some of my fasting routines.

I have one huge issue with fasting: It takes me away from eating with my family.

I have a rule of thumb I like to keep: Don't let your pursuit of holiness pull you away from your family. As a part of this, I've always disliked how fasting pulls me away from family meals. Sure, I can sit at the table and talk while everyone is eating, but that's just weird. Eating--actually eating--with my family is a profoundly important experience.

I also don't like how fasting affects my ability to accept hospitality when offered. When someone invites you to a table you should eat. Even if you're fasting.

So my normal fasting routine is this: Eat only one meal a day, family dinner at night. If you're invited to eat with someone, accept, don't decline because you are fasting. Otherwise, don't eat during the week.

What this amounts to in my life is eating once a day. Don't eat all day, but come home and enjoy dinner with the family.

This is, by the way, a practice that can be done all the time. Many people just eat one meal a day. If you do this, you'll build fasting into your life as a continuous practice. I try to do this, but end up eating cookies or chips from time to time. Plus, since it's daily habit it can become routine, I'm just skipping lunch, and lose its spiritual focus. So during Lent I discipline myself back into fasting all day except dinner and recommit to its spiritual focus.

All that to say, if you want to fast but don't want it to pull you out of family life or offers of hospitality, you might want to consider this routine for Lent.

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