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The Sign of Jonah

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Sunday, I tried a fast. It lasted until about dinnertime. I had taken a nap, and dreamt of a holiday involving a lot of eating! And I woke up with a hunger headache as well. So I thought I would go ahead and eat dinner with my mom.

I was inspired to begin a fast by the story of Jonah in the bible. where he tells the city of Nineveh to repent. They repented, fasted and prayed, and were saved from God's wrath. I reread the story, because I came across it again this Easter. It's part of the Easter story, Jesus mentions it in his ministry often. When he says that they will see the 'sign of Jonah', he means he will reappear three days after his death, like Jonah was in the whale for three days. Jonah was in the stomach of a whale for three days and he was bleached white by stomach acids. Jesus was unrecognizable to his followers after he appeared again, he looked like another man entirely. He had to tell them who he was, and then he stayed with them and taught them for forty days, up until God took him up into heaven.

I was also inspired by how some Latter Day Saints fast once a month. They like to give the money they save on groceries to a charity that feeds people, but I can't afford to do that. So I never thought I would do that. But lately, I've been thinking I should do it anyway, for the experience of feeling what it is like to go hungry. I want to know how other people feel.

How did going hungry feel? I didn't have a lot of energy, I really lacked that. I watched some television, but even that became difficult after a while, and I just retired to bed. I thought my stomach would hurt, but it never did. I never became actually hungry. Only in my dreams was I hungry, when I took the nap, because I couldn't stay awake. It made me feel like I am not really in touch with how my body feels, like I am too numb lately to notice. That highlighted something I need to become more mindful of in my life.

This was a learning experience for me. I am going to keep doing this, every fourth Sunday of the month. I only don't think it's good to break the fast at all. So, instead, I'm going to make it easier, by using crackers, juice, and protein shakes. Someone once said to me, that the protein shakes "put power in your prayer." My goals are to have enough energy to read the bible and prayer books, rather then just veg out in front of the television or computer. It should be a day dedicated to getting closer to God.

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