What is your favorite holiday? I know many of you may answer Christmas because of the chance to share special gifts with family and friends, but many of us may be quick to answer Thanksgiving as a close second. I know for some it may make your top holiday as it represents the one time you may have all your loved ones under the same roof – but honestly can we just talk about the food?! Yes the food! Yes, I love my family too, but I would be lying to say that Thanksgiving doesn’t rock because of the food!
Maybe it is because instead of just one of our favorite foods – on Thanksgiving – we are surrounded by all of them? Is it because on this one day we give ourselves permission to eat, and eat, and eat some more? A day we try every dessert and then break up the eating with another favorite past time like watching football, napping, or talking with family? Admit it, there is just something about Feasting that brings us joy!
A couple of years ago I began the practice of spiritual Feasting. I was convicted that often my devotion time felt more like a little snack. Kind of like eating a spiritual lunchable – a little protein, a little carb, a little fat, and a sweet treat at the end – but really not satisfying my spiritual hunger. My quiet time was as predictable as the four plastic squares that separate the lunchable portions, and then the Lord prompted me to begin feasting.
I began to set aside Wednesdays as my FEAST DAY! I would head to the park – face my car toward a beautiful cluster of trees and roll down the windows. I would open my bible, put my journal beside me, cue up my favorite worship music and would spend several hours with the Lord…..feasting. My time would go between prayer, worship, reading, meditating, making notes and then back again.
I know for many who are juggling kids and jobs and commitments this may sound like a leisure you could never schedule, but let me encourage you. You may not have 3 hours in one setting but you can do it the thanksgiving way and keep making your way back to the kitchen. Leave everything out on the counter and just keep making trips back to graze. Try it. If you can set aside several hours in one stretch – Go For it! If you can’t, then start your day with a good hearty spiritual meal, and leave out the food and go back for your 15 minute break, your lunch break, and maybe 15 minutes after you end your shift. Leave the spirit food out – easy and accessible and keep revisiting throughout the day.
For those who this may be a “first” for here are a few helps:
- Schedule it! Maybe you sit out that family trip to the movie – or you sneak away to a quiet shaded place in your back yard. But find a place where you are alone – uninterrupted – experiencing quiet – to have your feast.
- Plan to bring your journal, bible, music (although if you can’t swear off your phone, you will have to use an ipod or something else that truly helps you disconnect for 2 or more hours.)
- Maybe you have some special passages you want to revisit or meditate on that you have marked in your bible. (A great passage is Psalm 119) for those who may need a jump start. Maybe you have a prayer guide you tucked in your bible you want to include or a few newsletters for organizations you partner with.
There are very few rules. Here are the important ones – disconnect from distraction. Bathe the entire experience in prayer – I don’t know about you but I have to engage in some pretty intense prayer just to get past all of the daily things that are running through my head. Be ready to hear from the Holy Spirit. I know this may sound crazy, but I cannot think of one spiritual feast that I have had that I didn’t hear from God either on a personal matter or through Him divinely revealing His Word. Because I love to write, I have to schedule at least an additional hour to express what God has done and taught me.
Maybe next time you consider one of your favorite holidays – you will consider a spiritual Feasting holy day as your new favorite!