I threw some bags of salad, fruits and vegetables in my Trader Joe’s cart and I was almost out the door. This was out of the norm for me in several ways. I’m usually opposed to bagged salads and precut fruit. Companies triple charge for the packaging and keep half the product for the next. Then again, did I have the right to be upset? Isn’t this bag of salad the blueprint to capitalism? Plus, I leave for work at 7:00 in the morning and chopping up vegetables will not become a part of my bachelorette morning routine.
In my mind I thought I was preparing because, after all, I did go to the grocery store one day before the actual Fast start date. And on top of that I went to a grocery that specialized in natural and organic ingredients, and all at a low price compared to their competitors…’the poor man’s Whole Foods.’
I made a slight detour to pick up a pack of yogurt before I headed to the mile-long checkout line. Traditionally, yogurt is not included on the fast but I eat it everyday for health reasons. I didn’t feel guilt for this one waiver because I can’t ever remember waking up in the morning and craving it.
As I waited to ring up my lonely 10 items, I began to contemplate as to why I was standing in this line, so long, I was standing in the aisle. Immediately, my thoughts were interrupted when the man knocked over a six-pack sending droplets in a complete 360 all over the front-part of the grocery. So as I stood there with organic pure cane root beer dripping down my wool coat, while simultaneously the clerk, halted scanning items in my line, and screamed for a clean up on aisle two. In the midst of the Northside Lincoln Park chaos I smiled. I smiled because in a few moments the marquee of Trader Joe’s would be in my rearview mirror. I smiled because tonight, without constraint, I would feast on sautéed chicken in puff pastries, grilled squid and caramel tres leches cake. But I especially smiled because I knew in 21 days I would have a vision clearer than my vision today.
Let’s start off strong saints. Let’s finish strong saints. Let’s pray more steadfastly than we’ve ever prayed for. Let’s smile when the checkout line is a mile long because at least we’re covered indoors. Let’s laugh when the root beer runs down our newly dry-cleaned coat because at least it’s organically free from dyes and artificial ingredients. Let’s worship more than we’ve ever worshipped before. Let’s draw nearer to the Lord to find our true purposes in 2011 and in the kingdom as a whole. And let’s do it together! Daniel 10:2-3
“Fasting without prayer and devotion is simply a diet.” –Amar R.