The Fast Seemed Slow

This week at church the teenage youth had a combined activity. It wasn’t going to be anything out of the ordinary…they get together once a month for activities.

The idea for this particular activity was decided on back in January, long before I was asked to be one of the youth organization leaders. However the actual plans for what would be done were never put into place. That was something I had to do.

The theme for the activity was “Fast and Feast”, with the idea being that we would ask the youth, the youth leaders, and any parents that had a desire to participate, to fast for 24 hours and then have dinner together.

Let me just say up front: kudos to all that participated.

There are about 50 youth ages 12-18, (along with 17 youth leaders) in the congregation and about 40 of them decided to participate. I should say that many participated in the feast. I don’t know how many of them actually fasted because we didn’t ask them to account for it. It was supposed to be a personal thing.

Normally we fast from Saturday until Sunday, which doesn’t seem so bad. I figure that being at church makes it easier. So the true test of dedication was going to be due to the fact that we were fasting from Tuesday to Wednesday…a time period when everyone would be interacting with friends and colleagues at work and school. We would be around food. It would be a temptation.

It was bound to be a long day.

When we were ready to sit down together and have our feast, I delayed a little and teased a little about being hungry. But it was only a little bit of teasing because, well, I was hungry too.

We had begun our fast the night before as a group, kneeling in prayer, asking our Father in Heaven to bless us as we fasted. Before eating, we knelt again in prayer and thanked Him for sustaining us and blessing us with a wonderful meal and answers to our prayers. (I wouldn’t be surprised if some prayers were for a good feast, while others might have prayed for time to go by quickly.)

After the prayer we all say down to eat. This all happened one week before Thanksgiving but if you could see what we ate you would think it was a Thanksgiving celebration.

But it was.

After we ate we gave anyone that wanted to, a chance to share any thoughts that they had about their experience of fasting. If they wanted to share a testimony they could.

Although some of the youth said that it was hard, especially with food so readily accessible at work and school and with friends eating in front of them, everyone that spoke said it was worth it. Why? Because they were blessed for remaining strong.

That was the true feast. Yes it was nice to eat the yummy dinner that had been prepared. It was great to see the youth socializing. But the best part was hearing the feelings put into words to describe how they were each influenced by the Holy Ghost. They felt God’s love for them. That is more filling than any food, which is why the Savior is the bread of life.

If you have never tried fasting you should. But do it with a purpose. Otherwise you will just be starving yourself. It is amazing how you can be spiritually touched by doing so. I know I was. I could see that these youth were.

And those 24 hours didn’t last as long, or feel any longer, than I thought they would.

Just another view from a Palmtree.

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Feeling like crap…

So it has been a while since I wrote a blog posting.  I am sure that you have missed my musings, or maybe not, especially after the odd attempt at literary expertise by writing a story with as many song titles from my iTunes library as possible.  You may have wondered where I was, what I was doing, would I ever return.  You may have wondered, “Randy who?” and then continued on with your everyday life.  But alas, I am here and if you are still reading, you must be a relative…or someone that is suffering from insomnia, or a groupie that I haven’t met.

So where was I these last few weeks?  Well, I could say that I just haven’t been motivated, wasn’t inspired, or just plain didn’t have the time.  But I realize, as truthful as those three excuses may be, they lay the foundation for many reason why I shouldn’t blog at all.  But I like to blog so I need a different reason for a short hiatus.

I could claim that I was sick.  I wasn’t but I could claim it because not only would that be a valid reason, it would be one that draws sympathy.  Instant forgiveness…nothing better than that.  I could simply say that I have felt like crap lately and you would probably understand and think nothing of my absence.  But I haven’t felt like crap lately so I won’t be using that as an excuse, but I will use it for my topic today.

One of the gadgets that I have on my Windows Sidebar (something you may be familiar with if you have Windows Vista) is the Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day. For today (Nov. 16, 2010) the word is “crapulous”.  I know what you are thinking…because after I saw the word I thought the same things.  And I will tell you right now, if you dwell on it, you will start to think other things.

Merriam-Webster says that crapulous is an adjective with two meanings.  The first: marked by intemperance especially in eating or drinking.  The second: sick from excessive indulgence in liquor.  Though I have never been inebriated myself, I have had friends that achieved that status and as an end result said they felt like crap.  I am sure they didn’t feel that way while they were excessively indulging in liquor.  Maybe they already felt like crap so they chose to drink in excess to forget about it.  I don’t know.  But it doesn’t relate to just alcohol.  Notice the first definition refers to intemperance in eating.  Now I am guilty.  And I would be willing to bet you are too.

Who doesn’t overeat at least once in a while?  I do…in fact, I will again next week.  And I just might do it sometime this week.  It all depends on what my choices are for meals each day.  If we have another pizza fest, I will likely show intemperance with my eating and could very possibly feel like crap shortly after.  More appropriately said; I will be crapulous.

So why do we do that to ourselves?  Because we don’t think about being crapulous while we are in the act of indulgence.  Indulgence, whether with food or drink, is mainly done in celebration of something.  Like the next time I have intemperance with eating pizza.  I will be celebrating the fact that I get to eat pizza, and I will be celebrating even more if it is my wife’s homemade pizza.  And once I have downed thirteen and a half pieces (the half will be my daughters…I can’t let it go to waste) I will likely be crapulous.  Yep, after that much pizza I probably will feel like crap.  But I am sure it will be a euphoric crapulous state.  One that will misguide me into thinking about eating ice cream…especially since ice cream doesn’t really take any extra room in my stomach (it just fills in the cracks).  And when I am crapulous, I will be saying to everyone around that “it was sooooo worth it” and probably something else like “don’t get in my way between here and the bathroom” as I decide to share my crapulous situation with the royal porcelain thrown.  And if you have been crapulous according to the second definition, you know exactly what I mean.

So next week as we all approach the table to enjoy a Thanksgiving feast we need to ask ourselves if we are ready to be crapulous or not.  If you skip the appetizers and only have one serving of food, you probably won’t be crapulous.  However, if you hit the all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet at the local restaurant, followed by overindulgence on the Thanksgiving feast, completed with not just pie and ice cream for dessert but a couple of glasses of eggnog (getting a head start on the Christmas season) as you make your way to the couch to watch a football game while munching on chips, dip, peanuts, and coke (diet & caffeine free for health reason I assume), then you will be crapulous.  I will make sure to not cross the path between you and the bathroom.

Just another view from a Palmtree.