my first real test: i had to make a stop at target last week to buy flour. my response upon returning home, “walking into target while buying only necessities is like a recovering addict walking into a crack house.” perhaps a little strongly-worded, but it was so difficult not to pick up just something small. the $1 bin gets me every time. later in the day i received an email promoting 50% off everything at a local thrift store. i thought it would be okay to go and maybe buy just one thing and rid myself of something else later. it was honestly a pretty intense day of internal struggle before deciding to purge my closet instead. i began thinking how beneficial it is to deny ourselves sometimes and how little i actually do it. if i want something, i buy it. if i want to go somewhere, i go. there are very few times i need or choose to tell myself no – instant gratification.
self-denial equals fasting. i haven’t thought of this “stop shop” as a fast before now and definitely have not thought about the benefits beyond saving money and stretching my creativity. but i am thinking now. how would my life be different if i practiced saying no to myself a little more often? perhaps i would see God’s hand work more clearly or maybe i would even learn to let others meet my needs instead of being so independent all the time. it might be that i would be able to meet other’s needs because i wouldn’t be so focused on my own. whatever the reasons, benefits or difficulties in doing this, i have a hunch that it will be worth it in the end.