I’m fasting today. From speaking.

Fasting can be an important part of a Christian’s life. Operative words: Can be. If we understand what it’s all about. I’ve known too many people, read to many well-meaning books that dress up fasting as a cosmic brownie-points system to get what you want out of God, or more of it — say, a wayward child back home, God’s voice becoming clearer, guidance, more anointing, an answer to prayer, or a spiritual high.

Listen, though: Fasting is a tool in God’s hand, not a tool in mine. It’s how God gets what he wants out of me, or more of it. And if it’s God’s tool, in his hand, then fasting must be initiated by him, not me. The moment I do it on my own, I’ve yanked the tool out of God’s hand, brat-like, and muttered, “Mine!” But when it’s God’s idea, I should go with it. That’s what happened to me today.

I woke up with a mental image before my eyes: God gently clamping down on my vocal chords. Seriously. I asked him what it meant, and apparently I’m not allowed to speak all day. I’m now an hour and a half in. Some of my observations so far:

* Shauna rolled her eyes and said, “Not again.” (Once, years ago, God called me to a similar fast for 40 days, where I could only speak if spoken to. Changed my life.)
* I couldn’t explain to Shauna that even though Glory’s finger looked a bit infected, I had in fact treated her hamster bite with polysporin. This turned out to be pride thing: “Hey, I was responsible. Don’t look at me.” Couldn’t say that, though. I had to let it ride.
* I couldn’t say goodbye to my family on the way to work. I had to show it, with hugs and kisses.
* People don’t understand. “Why isn’t daddy talking?” I guess I’ll leave that up to God.
* I couldn’t jump in and stop an argument between Joel and Glory. Maybe that was OK. Maybe I wasn’t supposed to. Maybe I have something to learn there.
* I’m praying more. God’s the only one I can talk to.

Not only that, but I have a feeling like maybe one of you bloggers might get a tug from God’s Spirit to do this too. Just don’t do it cause it sounds like a neat idea. God’s tool, not yours, remember?

At least I can write.