John Frank’s Take on Fasting


John Frank, a rising Junior and member of the Honor Council, reflects upon one of his summer practices.

“The list of recommended leisure activities for this summer’s Praxis contained a strangely compelling suggestion: a day-long fast. I had wanted to do this very thing for a while, so I started making my plans for my “leisure” activity and attempting to convince my parents that I wasn’t insane.

I was bored out of my mind the morning of the fast. Everything I did seemed like a distraction from food. I tried praying but had a hard time focusing on anything but my next meal. However, by the afternoon, the hunger pangs had stopped. I felt light-headed, bored and, strangely enough, extremely cold. Dinner (or a lack of it) was agonizing, and I eventually pulled myself into bed, attempting to get some rest. I couldn’t sleep. Nothing I tried worked.

After falling asleep at what seemed like 3:00am that next morning, I woke up too early at about 6:00am. I had bags under my eyes and felt strange. “How did Christ deal with falling asleep during his fasts?” I thought. “How can constantly hungry people sleep at all?” I wondered. After starving myself, I realized just how fragile I and other people were. Food only props us fragile people up for a short while. Only through Christ can we truly be whole.”