I mentioned in my last post how I was initially not sure about participating in the 7 Experiment with a group of ladies from my church. I tend to have an all or nothing type of personality and I would have jumped into something drastic like this with enthusiasm and maybe not much thought. My motive would have been to show myself and God (and others, probably) how spiritual I could be. I would have wanted to prove something about my spirituality.
As I read the Introduction I began to see what was at the heart of this experiment:
7 will be an exercise in simplicity with one goal: to create space for God’s kingdom to break through. I approach this project in the spirit of a fast: and intentional reduction, a deliberate abstinence to summon God’s movement in my life. (page 4)
This goal fits perfectly with what is going on in my heart recently. As I am learning to let go of fear and performance I am making room for God’s love to break through. My relationship with God is becoming more and more about who He is and how much He loves me and not so much about who I am and how much I can accomplish for Him. My mind and my heart have been cluttered with spiritual junk and it has taken a complete removal of that junk for me to begin experiencing God in a new way. So it can also be with the physical clutter and excess in my life. The more I have the more distracted I am and the more energy I have to put into maintaining that excess.
I tend to be a simple person by nature. Some of the upcoming fasts are exciting to me. Like only wearing 7 items of clothing for one month, I am all about that! Some of the fasts will be more difficult. I am already dreading the media fast month. I want to continually remind myself that my goal for this experiment is not simply to have a healthier body, de-cluttered spaces, and extra money by the end of this. No, I want to create space for God’s kingdom to break through.
When I wrote my first post about this experiment I was all ready to jump right in the month of February with only 7 foods. I had my list and was excited about the challenge. Then I got sick and basically didn’t eat much of anything for 2 weeks. It was obvious as February 1st neared that it wouldn’t be healthy for me to start the month as described in the book. So I let it go. I didn’t beat myself up or try to convince myself that if I was truly holy enough I would start the 7 foods fast no matter what was going on with my body. I extended grace to myself.
I have started the February fast with some guidelines. No sweets. No snacks. No extras (2nd helpings, condiments, etc.). Next week I will give an update on how that is going.
In the mean time my prayer continues to be: Jesus, may there be less of me and my junk and more of You and Your kingdom. (page 5)