Monday, 26 September 2016

How do I do this?

I don't know if I've learned anything.
From my 6 Fast, I mean.

I feel frustrated.
And impatient.
And sort of bitter.

I kind of feel like I've been caught up in a whirlwind,
blustering around like there's no tomorrow,
going nowhere, fast.

In What About The Ugly?  two months in to my Fast,
I wrestled with feelings of anxiety.

Almost from the beginning, I've realized that my 6 Fast is just a start of something more to come.
I know there is more to come.
I just really believe that God is starting a shakedown in my life.
Over this next year, I believe that the way my life looks is going to change. Inside and out.
I believe He is wanting to do a major over-haul, a huge transformation if you will, within my heart.
I think when that happens, that transformation will be made evident outwardly.
And I'm not really sure what to do with that.
I'm afraid of it actually happening.
But I'm even more afraid that it won't.
I have all these ideas rolling around in my head, of what this might look like.
(They are probably all wrong.)
And I just want it all to happen right now.
I want the fruit right now.
I'm just so anxious about this.
I'm worried that if He takes too long to over-haul me, I will mess it up.
And I don't want to mess it up.

I messed it up.

Here I am, nine months in,
NINE MONTHS, my friends!
and I'm still in the exact same place.

I don't like what I'm seeing.
Or, rather, what I'm not seeing.

Because, I see nothing.
Nothing at all.

I look today,
exactly as I did then.

I was so convinced that I was going to learn something wonderful.
Something extraordinary.
Something that would change me from the inside out.

I spent so much time weeping.
I felt like,
I was being ripped open from the inside out.
That my inmost self was being exposed.
That my true colours were becoming evident.
It felt like I was being shown who I really was,
rather than, who I perceived I was.

It was painful.
And, beautiful at the same time.

I was under the assumption that all of the weeping,
all of the hurt,
was necessary for the transformation.
So, I was ok with the pain.
I welcomed it, even.

But, here's the thing.
There is no transformation.
There has been no over-haul.
Everything that I have seen about who I am,
all of the ugly,
is still there.

Not one thing has changed.......
except that,
now I see how ugly my heart is.

This 6 Fast no longer feels like a means to an end.
It just feels like.......

And, I feel stupid.
I think I did something wrong.

And, I feel guilty.
For not learning what I'm supposed to learn.
For not changing.
For seeing how ugly I really am,
and not doing one blasted thing about it.

I just,
I don't know how.
I don't know how to change.

I am aware of so many things that I want to change about myself,
but, I just can't seem to do it.

And I'm so tired of it all.
Because, it seems pointless.

And, I feel like I am running out of time.
I have just over three months left in my 6 Fast.
And, the only thing I have accomplished is,
I have bought less stuff.

So what.
Big, stupid deal.

Hear me paraphrase Isaiah 58:1-5, as if it were written specifically to me.

58 “Shout it aloud, do not hold back.
    Raise your voice like a trumpet.
Declare to my daughter, Melinda, her rebellion,
    declare to her, a descendant of Jacob, her sins.
For day after day she seeks me out;
    she seems eager to know my ways,
as if she were a daughter that does what is right
    and has not forsaken the commands of her God.
She asks Me for just decisions
    and seems eager for Me to come near her.
‘Why have I fasted,’ she says,
    ‘and You have not seen it?
Why have I humbled myself,
    and you have not noticed?’

“Yet on the day of your fasting,you do as you please.
    Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife.
    You cannot fast as you do today
    and expect your voice to be heard on high.
Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
    only a day for you to humble yourself?
Is it only for bowing your head like a reed
    and for lying in sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
    a day acceptable to the Lord?
"As if I were a daughter that does what is right....."
How utterly humiliating.

Isaiah 58:6-14 True Fasting

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
    and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
    and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
    and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
    and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
    and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness[a] will go before you,
    and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
    you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.

“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
    with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
    and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
    and your night will become like the noonday.
11 The Lord will guide you always;
    he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
    and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
    like a spring whose waters never fail.
12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
    and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
    Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.
13 “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
    and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight
    and the Lord’s holy day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
    and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,
14 then you will find your joy in the Lord,
    and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land
    and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.”
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

I am failing.
I have not done away with oppression,
or my pointing finger,
or malicious talk.
I have not spent myself on behalf of the hungry.
I have done nothing about the needs of the oppressed.
My light has not risen in the darkness.
I have not called the Sabbath a delight.
I have done as I have pleased.
I have spoken idle words.

I have not truly fasted.

I have done nothing.

This 6 Fast feels like a legalistic exercise that is leading nowhere.

And I am ashamed.

I don't know how to do this.

How do I do this?