Part 1 and Part 2 for those who want to read them in order.
Does anybody know why religious people fast? I don't mean the ones who do it because they were taught that on certain days of the year you do it because it imparts God's favor. I'm talking about people who fast just because. A few years back, I started wondering about that.
Then I started wondering why Jesus said that his disciples would fast. Why does the fat pastor not teach his congregation that Jesus said they should fast? I've heard all about not smoking, drinking, dancing, mixed bathing, no MTV, and no Halloween. Pastor Ardy Parlin told us when I was in high school that hand holding led to pregnancy.
True story. It happened during Spiritual Emphases Week at Jackson Baptist back in the 80's. Me and some of the guys took our plastic sandwich bags out of our lunches. We stuck our hands in them and tried to get the girls to hold hands with us. Laugh if you want. Some of them were down with it.
So I decided to test God on this fasting business. What I did was fast for a 24 hour period, every Wednesday for a year. The year ran from my birthday in 2015 until my birthday in 2016. I did it. With the possible exception of a small Wendy's Frosty that a co-worker slipped me on a very hot day in August and that I ate before I remembered it was Wednesday. I say possible exception, because I swore off food, not beverages. A frosty seems like a sort of gray area. It's not really a beverage and its not really solid food. It was very hot that day. I was thankful, even if I felt guilty afterwards. Other than that little slip I stuck with the program.
I had been doing one of those, read the bible in a year things, too while I was fasting. So I was going to church regular, like always, reading my bible pretty much every day, and fasting once a week. Prayer is often mentioned in the Bible along with fasting. As part of a days worth of fasting, I planed for a "special" prayer before I broke my fast.
For some reason I started praying crazy prayers. A crazy prayer is one that only God can hear and make happen. It's asking God for outrageous stuff. Crazy, ain't no way its gonna happen, stuff. The lottery went to a billion bucks when I was doing this. I bought a ticket. I prayed. I didn't win. Crazy Stuff, right? Everybody prays to win the lottery. Not exactly a let down when it doesn't happen.
I noticed something about these crazy prayers. When and what I asked for other people happened. Yes, every time. What I asked for myself, didn't. I asked God to give a friend a job. Next day he had one, $28/hr plus tons of overtime. They didn't lose their house. I asked God for a slightly better job for me. That's it, just a slightly better job. Did I get it? Nope, still pulled $9 hour doing the same old thing on the night shift. My friend had a drug habit. I had an MBA.
I remember feeling let down and a little mad at God over giving Dan a job. God did exactly what I asked, but I was mad a God for doing what I wanted Him to do. So much for being logical.