Brandon told me when we were talking about fasting on this week’s podcast that I HAD to expand on how we reorder our desires, so here we go! Here are the two steps blown out as per his request: 1) Identifying what we’re running to. 2) Replace it with a healthy dependence on God.
When it comes to identifying exactly what it is that we need to reorder, I think Brandon really nailed it. Look for what you go to instead of going to God. When you’re tired, hungry, stressed, frustrated, etcetera, what is your instinct? Brandon is a snacker. If I’ve made the mistake of keeping snacks in the house, so am I. Most of the time, though, I consume entertainment. Videos and video games are my go to when dealing with something. Maybe you scroll through social media feeds. Maybe you spend hours reading the news. Whatever it is we use to cope, that’s where we may need to reorder our approach.
Notice I used the word “may.” Honestly, none of these things are bad, in and of themselves. In their proper place and proportion, they can even serve as a healthy outlet and part of our processing. The problem is when we try to use them as a source of fulfillment on their own. Human beings have a tendency to latch onto created things instead of the Creator. I think a major part of why is because we desire to exert control, or even to fully understand the tools we use. We like to think we’re independent, that we’re at the top of the food chain.
God is beyond both our control and our understanding, so we cling instead to other things, feeling independent and strong. This is an illusion. These things never satisfy, we always need more of them. St. Augustine said that our hearts are restless until they rest in God. Nothing else will satisfy and bring the true peace that we desire. This is why we fast. Forcing ourselves to cut back or cut out the things we’ve become dependent on will hurt, but it’s growing pains. If we combine our fast with a sincere turning to God, we will find all that we’ve been searching for, and more.