Monday, February 11, 2013

fasting is just playing with food

fasting is just playing with food

the theme of last week's APCE (association of presbyterian church educators) conference was play. and to quote a dear friend, julie gvillo, "What I learned this week, in a nutshell: People who don't play enough are compulsive, controlling, critical, and cause conflict. Oh, and also that I am not crazy. So there. Go play!" good to know i'm not crazy, either.

one of the things that has really stuck with me, and has been rolling around in my mind lately is this quote from keynote speaker jaco hamman: "fasting is just playing with food." i don't know why this sticks with me. i'm not a good faster. i usually pass out about 4 hours in because my blood sugar drops and i run out of fuel. i suppose i could do a bread and water fast, but i've always thought, "why bother?" that's not a real fast.

but if fasting is really just playing with food, than shouldn't we approach all our food as playtime? i don't mean every meal should end in a food fight--although that would be interesting. but shouldn't getting together to fellowship with family and friends around a meal be fun? shouldn't we tell stories and laugh and play games? isn't that what Jesus did? he hung out with all kinds of different people around food and told stories.

tomorrow is mardi gras. it's fat tuesday and i plan on fatting it up. lots of really bad for me food. i will probably bring a king cake to work. and over-indulge.

and wednesday begins lent. we play with our food during lent. we don't fast in our house, but we do give up meat for fridays and we will have a meatless ash wednesday. it has always been our tradition to bring out my grandmothers' and grandfathers' creole and cajun recipes and prepare wonderful seafood creations. we also become nomadic "catholics" and visit different parish fish fries. we play with our food on fridays in lent. it's a special time for us to intertwine our faith with family and fellowship. and we sure have a good time doing it.

i'm all for table manners. chew with your mouth closed, napkin in your lap and knife and fork over fingers (unless it's a burger or fried chicken.) but next time you sit down at the dinner table with your family or friends, take time to play. just hope a food fight doesn't break out!


  1. Well ... I *could* be accused of prejudice, LOL, but ... I LOVE IT! :) I, too, am a nomadic Catholic during Lent ... mostly because I very much enjoy buffalo fish, and I have a hard time finding it in any restaurant in the area. I think that makes your point, though ... I like to play with food. Like Chris, I, too, enjoy the gathering at the table and the fellowship of friends ... the stories and laughter ... the celebration of life. We are not crazy. We, who have been created in God's image, have playful spirits. Thanks be to God! and Amen!

  2. Um,that was supposed to say "Like Christ." Though, perhaps Chris and I are alot alike as well???? ;)