I never expected to reenergize my practice of fasting by reading Harper's Magazine. It started when I spotted the cover of the March 2012 issue. It featured a three-frame illustration of an overweight, sedentary man becoming thin and active. The title of the cover story: "Starving Your Way to Vigor: The Benefits of an Empty Stomach." I was intrigued. • The story described how fasting not only helps slim the body but has a host of other benefits, including the potential to add years to your life. Beginning with historical anecdotes and moving to his experience with fasting, the author, Steve Hendricks, shook me out of complacency and renewed my commitment to this ancient discipline.
In college I'd established a routine of fasting one day a week, water only. Since I had typically fasted during Lent, when I seem to have greater commitment to abstaining, I decided to renew my weekly, water-only fasting routine during the Lenten season.
During my college and early ministry ...1