Sunday, August 7, 2011

40 days without food.

And I've never felt better.

My weight is good. My energy's up. My senses are piqued.

Did I mention I didn't actually go 40 days without food? Yeah, I actually eat. Everyday. But I did read a book of the same title.  Counts, right?

One of my favorite friends from college, Russ Masterson, has written a book about his journey through a 40 day fast. He didn't ask me to write a review, but I just finished the book and sat down to email my thoughts to him. Instead of emailing him, I thought I'd review it on here for more people to read {you know, the tens of millions of you} and hopefully convince you to read it yourself.

The husb got a Kindle for Father's Day and as all good gifts I give go, I've maintained a secure hold on it, reading books as fast as I can before he notices it's gone. I'm sneaky like that.

The first one I read was one he had downloaded, Donald Miller's A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. I couldn't put it down. It's one of those life-changer books for me.  Still resonating. Moving me to action. I love those kind of books.

Then the husb stole his Kindle back I took a break from technology and read a paperback book about heaven. Sometimes I just need to smell a real book.

Back to the Kindle and see that the husb has since downloaded Russ' book.  I dig in. I stay up until 2:30am reading 60% of the book {no page numbers, just percentages} and waller through the next day waiting and yearning for the coveted naptime. I lay down, grab the Kindle to make my eyes sleepy and finish the final 40%. My naptime got thwarted by good writing.

I felt like I was back in Donald Miller land again. The writing was familiar, comfortable. Maybe it's because I know Russ so I can hear his voice behind the written words. But maybe not. Having read books by other authors I know {dad, here's your plug.  brother, here's your plug. you're welcome. send a check.}, there are times when the "voice" is recognizable, but for the most part, the author usually becomes my voice and/or the voice of the characters therein.

Each of the 40 days is a chapter of its own with other chapters interspersed that are time-stamped from a day in the past or in the future, as pertaining to the "present" fast. At first it seems tangled. What is that day from your childhood revealing about your present struggle? How is this day, 4 years after the fast, an answer to your fervent prayer?

I was intrigued by each day of his fast. Having never done a full 40 day fast myself, the thoughts of Do you really hear God clearer when you're hungry? or What does starvation feel like? or How do you play it off to everyone around you - surely they know? or Is fasting a guarantee to spiritual significance, to truly hearing your life's solid purpose? and even How could this skinny dude afford to lose so much weight?

With as many questions as I posed throughout the book, Russ asked more. His search for purpose, for meaning, for his life's true path was questioned daily. He gains insights, not only through his personal study and quiet time, but through everyday conversations with everyday people. It is in those everyday moments that Russ' call becomes more clear. As hunger overwhelms him, his senses are heightened so that there is no "everyday". Each day is new. Each day holds gifts, blessings, wisdom to be gained, love to share, love to accept, wounds, forgiveness, hunger.

I learned a lot through his journey. I'm thankful he recorded it. I'm more thankful he listened to the voice of God before, during, and to this day.

It's still resonating. Moving me to action. I love those kind of books.


40 Days Without Food: Divine Goodness to a Starving Soul by Russ Masterson

1 comment:

Rebecca Ricker said...

I think the most simplest explanation I have heard of fasting was by David Platt. Fasting is simply crying out to God saying,"More than food, I need you!" We live in a self saturated world, and when we let go of our comfort, and food is definitely comfort :) God can do amazing things! Thanks for sharing!