I figured that I, as a healthy, well-fed American (a little overly well-fed, as evidenced by the fact that I have a blog dedicated to my weight-loss efforts) could easily afford to miss lunch one day. I had oatmeal for breakfast and a banana after my morning run, but I'm waiting until dinner to have anything else. It's a very small sacrifice for someone like me, but I really can't imagine what it must be like for the people who experience this every day, and not by choice. About an hour ago my stomach was growling but now it's just kind of achy. I find it freaky how aware I am of food smells. But I feel fine otherwise and I'm a little ashamed that it took me this long to finally try the fast. In other years, I thought, "Oh, I'll just donate," but I really think that having this feeling fresh in my mind will make the check a little bigger than it would have been otherwise, and I'm sure that is why Oxfam suggests the fast and not just the check.
Fasting is, of course, part of most major religions, but by the time I went to Catholic school, Good Friday fasting wasn't recommended for children anymore, so I never purposely have tried it. Muslims, of course, fast for the entire month of Ramadan:
Due to the lack of preoccupation with the satisfaction of bodily appetites during the daylight hours of fasting, a measure of ascendancy is given to one's spiritual nature, which becomes a means of coming closer to God. Ramadan is also a time of intensive worship, reading of the Qur'an, giving charity, purifying one's behavior, and doing good deeds.I think, with the major feast coming up next week and all the other opportunities coming up for overeating in the next month and a half, it is a good time to pause and reflect that for a lot of people, food isn't something to be taken for granted. And consider donating to Oxfam or to The Cherry Street Mission to help hungry people right here in Toledo, Ohio.
As a secondary goal, fasting is a way of experiencing hunger and developing sympathy for the less fortunate, and learning to thankfulness and appreciation for all of God's bounties. Fasting is also beneficial to the health and provides a break in the cycle of rigid habits or overindulgence.