Reflections: End of the Detox 2014

fresh

“…things always get worse before they get better…”

That’s the quote that best describes what happens during my detoxes.

Oh, most “detox survivors” (hehe) will happily tell you the euphoric experience that is THE END of the detox. The end almost makes up for the shizznit that they just subjected themselves to. Almost. 

By day three, I find myself asking, “Why do I do this to myself? Why?!” Still, I press on – reminding myself of what I know is waiting for me — in the end. But this year, it didn’t get better after Day 3 – “THE worst day” supposedly. No, it most definitely got worse.

Abstinence from food gives you time. Time that gives you sensitivity to the other things that clog and clutter up your life. This year, I threw out a lot of things, arranged a few more, bought some (okay, a lot more) and brainstorming ideas for storage. Its even carried on to the rest of the house. Such fun!

After so many days spent on the porcelain throne (brown gunk coming out of you), you begin to think on other things in your life that might as well be categorised as faecal (i.e. sh*t).

Trite as it may sound, things started getting better once I heard the sermon at Church on “Knowing God” and decided to renew my commitment to spending quality time with God. So, one morning, I found myself soaking in meditation, reading His Word. I was especially invigorated when I found that the devotional was hooking up with the text that I had been fixated on (since Sunday) — Philippians 3 — “to know Him and the power of His resurrection”

That morning, I was surprised by the depths of my hunger – spiritual hunger that is. People often ask me how I am able to sleep on an empty stomach during the cleanse. I tell them, after three days, your stomach goes “dormant” – hunger is forgotten. When you start breaking the fast, your body starts to remember and hunger is “rediscovered”.

Well, that morning, my spirit rediscovering hunger – how long its been starving? I hate to imagine.

God speaks and I usually take to weeping.Tears came and it felt like so much crap was coming out of me. As I poured out my heart to God, he began to fill me…

What’s the difference when a non-Christian goes on a cleanse/detox and when a true believer goes on a fast?

A cleanse/detox/fast all have an element of abstinence. A non-Christian will feel “loss” – loss of food, loss of weight… but only a true Believer will feel full… of God’s love, his sufficiency.

There’s nothing as truly fulfilling as receiving a Word you know was meant for you. The Words were just so rich and full – though I was still fasting from food, I was feasting in the Spirit.

This morning, Day 10 of the detox – I went to weigh myself and had to quell myself from feeling disappointed. I hadn’t reached my goal of losing at least 10 pounds within 10 days. Shy one pound. (sigh)

Still, hadn’t I decided that this was not about weight loss?

Disappointed, I began to confess my petty feelings to God. I confessed to Him that feeling “thin” made me feel beautiful because people kept telling me, I “looked great” even when I knew that it was superficial. Then, the harder admission: I confessed to Him that it was easier for me to be dedicated to my body than it was to be dedicated to my spirit – to my relationship with Him.

After that initial confession, I began to pray in earnest that I would not just be physically lean but spiritually “lean”… Just like in Hebrews 12 (MSG)

1-3 Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honour, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!

I was harbouring parasitic sins and had spiritual “fat” that needed shedding – these were hindering my spiritual running!

So many things had to go but I didn’t have the strength – so I prayed the text of my devotional in Psalm 25:11, “For your name’s sake, O Lord, pardon my guilt, for it is great.”

So here I am in the aftermath of Detox 2014 feeling refreshed and renewed. I have no doubts that I will probably gain back most of the weight I lost but I plan to get back to my workout routine (was able to start again yesterday!)

But this year, I also feel redeemed and reinvigorated to run this race well. To be physically and especially spiritually fit.

I pray that in the future, I will look back at this blog post feeling happy – not regretful. This is not a resolution – this is a covenant where the Holy Spirit himself is the Coach, the running partner and ultimately the one who will carry me to the finish line. I am reminded that we are all training in grace – training every aspect of ourselves to be obedient to the Spirit. I cannot lose – so long as I am dependent on grace.

“It is the pleasure of God’s people to contemplate the graciousness of this covenant. They see that the law was made void because it was a covenant of works and depended upon merit, but this they perceive to be enduring because grace is the basis, grace the condition, grace the strain, grace the bulwark, grace the foundation, grace the topstone.” { C.H. Spurgeon }

In the words of Christ, “it is finished!”