My day began quite early this morning with my husband waking me up by making noise outside the door before 6:00 am. I was okay with that because I know I am a light sleeper.
The second thing that happened was that my third son, Jordan, pushed the emergency button in the bathroom when I wasn't looking. This set off the alarm which woke everyone up at 6:55 in the morning. The funny thing about this was no one from the maintenance office called our apartment until after 7:30. I know now what not to do in an emergency!
The third thing was noticing that the pastries that I had bought for this morning breakfast were gone. My husband had accidentally taken them, assuming it was a snack for the kids.
The fourth thing was the dishwasher that was full of clean dishes that had not been put away. What had my husband been doing this morning? I had assumed the noise in the morning was him unloading the dishwasher.
Justin, my eldest son actually asked, "Mommy are you okay? Why are you upset?" Too many trivial things had gone wrong, and they were adding up and ruining my mood. 7:50 in the morning and I am more than angry about small stuff!
After classes this morning, I was able to sit down and read about fasting and Lent. In Isaiah 58, "This is the fasting that I wish: releasing those bound unjustly, untying the thongs of the yoke, setting free the oppressed, breaking every yoke, sharing your bread with the hungry, sheltering the oppressed and the homeless, clothing the naked when you see them, and not turning your back on your own." Everything here is a work of mercy. The fast is about fasting from yourself. Fasting is not about self-punishment at all, it's about others.
Did I focus on the cuteness at my breakfast table? Three adorable boys enjoying cereal. Smiles and giggles that I barely paid attention to because I was upset.
In Matthew 9, when Christ is questioned about fasting, he totally changed or reframed the question. And he started talking about wedding guests and the bridegroom. Jesus understood fasting as fasting from self. Fasting from prejudices, superiority, and ethnic divisions. A wedding banquet does not have fasting in it at all. He seems to be recommending feasting.
When the focus is not on me, but on others, those trivial things that I found so annoying this morning don't add up. I am fasting from all those small things that irritate me.
I will focus on my family. Justin, Aidan, Jordan, and my husband. It's not about me. I can't get to the feast of the wedding until I take the focus off of myself.
I am fasting from myself on this first Friday of Lent. I am focused on Christ for this moment in time. A feast in front of me. Jesus.
"All God's plans have the mark of the cross on them, and all His plans have death to self on them." - E.M. Bounds