“Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;”Joel 2:12
Out of all the classic children’s stories that have made it into Disney movies, there’s one particular home furnishing in one of those stories that is unforgettable to me: the talking mirror in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. You know the one; the evil queen keeps asking the mirror who’s the fairest one of all and faster than she can say Siri or Alexa, she gets her answer.
That ancient fictional smart device is fascinating to me, not for the technology but for the reflection of all of us. What is it in every one of us that wants to be the prettiest, handsomest, smartest, and most successful? It’s a not-so-little thing called pride. And for most of us, every morning we look in the mirror, to brush our hair and/or teeth and we probably don’t talk to our reflection. But most every morning we likely do ask ourselves, “what do I need to make me happy today?” For some it might involve becoming “the fairest” or most beautiful. For others it may be the attention of another person or the feeling of being needed. Many things that make us happy are good things, but when we do them with the motivation of our happiness as the goal, we miss our purpose and who should be guiding our lives.
For the follower of Jesus, you must return to God with all of your heart. That means that we must weep and mourn over what our pride has told us we need. That means that we no longer do good for how good it makes us feel but, instead, we do good because God calls us to be like Him, and He’s good! When we fast, we empty ourselves of something not to get something in return, but to remember how much we’ve already been given by having God Himself. Ultimately, the journey of faith is learning to fast from ourselves more and more. When you look in the mirror today, don’t ask a question, make a declaration: “God loves me and is changing me to think less of me and more of Him.” Reflect that today!
Questions to ponder
What is your favorite classic Disney movie and why?
What is one physical feature about yourself that used to bother you but you are comfortable with (or are becoming more comfortable with) now?
How can thinking of yourself less and thinking about God more positively change your outlook on life? What can fasting from self accomplish?