Birthdays provide an opportunity for me to adjust yearly plans, create new life trajectories, renew commitments and make new pledges.
Birthdays that end in a zero (10, 20, 30, etc.) invite “visioneering” for ten years. Directing a decade of life decisions is a tremendous empowerment.
I have been researching, considering and meditating upon the spiritual and physical healthfulness of fasting.
Spiritual and physical health is, in the case of fasting, significantly impacted by what I DON’T do. Really, it isn’t complicated. Just don’t eat for lengthy amounts of time and you will significantly increase your healthfulness.
The Bible has much to say about the timing, processes and priorities of not eating.
We now know additional benefits to living life in total control of our feed and fast cycles. Without a doubt I often eat too much, too often. In this way I am better at the feed cycle than the fast cycle.
Yoshinori Ohsumi was awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine for his discoveries of the mechanisms of autophagy. In essence, from my non-scientific brain, autophagy is how a cell recycles its content.
We now know that cells self (auto) eat (phagein) a variety of cellular products. This autophagy (self eating) is SUPER important for health in more ways than we currently understand.
Here’s the deal. Autophagy is initiated and turbo charged (these are my layman’s terms) in the fasted state. That’s right. Our cells do their serious self cleaning work when the body is in the unfed state.
Immediately, I want to know, “How often do I need to be unfed and for how long? Having read, listened and watched many experts in the field of autophagy and fasting, I am convinced no one knows how each body will best respond to being unfed.
At this point, I must make my own determination regarding my “not eating plan” for the time between this birthday and the next ending in a zero (the Lord willing, a ten year experience).
The Bible opens with God revealing a six and one cycle in God’s creation work. Six days of creation. One day of rest. Then God’s word commands that we live in a one day of Sabbath rest to six days of work cycle. Yes, technically we work from our rest. We don’t rest from our work.
The Year of Jubilee is then revealed as seven cycles of seven years each. Seven cycles of seven years is a time frame of forty-nine years. Seven cycles of seven years initiates a “macro” Sabbath.
Reading the autophagy research, the Biblical commands and the propensity for cycles of seven, I have decided to commit to a rather simple “not eating plan.”
I know that it’s not rocket science, but none the less, it is my plan. Every seven days I will not eat for twenty-four hours in a row. Currently, my plan is to eat no later than seven on Saturday evening and no earlier than seven on Sunday evening.
Promising research is coming forth on the value of being in the unfed state for twenty-four hours in a row.
Second, I plan to fast for seven days either every seven months or every seventh month. I am still contemplating the Biblical patterns that may impact this decision.
Every seventh month is, according to our calendar, every July.
Every seven months is (starting in my birth month) September and then April and then November, etc. As of today, I am strongly leaning toward this plan.
Bringing God’s revelation of His six and one cycles into my fed/unfed strategy is a fun proposition because I am convinced that aligning with God’s revealed patterns may have benefits far beyond what science understands at this time.
With my upcoming zero ending birthday (60) I commit to this plan. It looks like I might find new meaning to the Bible verse, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness.”