Thursday, June 30, 2011

Review: 40 Days Without Food

Russ Masterson heard a call on his life and answered it; the result is this delightful account of his 40 days without food. As he states in the introduction, “I once went 40 days without food. Toward the end of each day I wrote some thoughts in a journal. Six years later I read those pages and found a story of divine goodness to a starving child”.
Not knowing what to do next is a tough place to be, and when you try to figure out the next step and keep hearing that still small voice saying “fast for 40 days” you have to wonder what’s going on. But Masterson figured that he might as well try since the answers weren’t coming from anywhere else. Of course he built in escape clauses and gave himself a way out if he needed it.
And then the fun begins. How do you let people know what you’re doing and then deal with their reactions? What about the bad breath and the mixed up emotions? When will there be enough hours to sleep and how can it be this cold when the temperature is so high.
And throughout are the theological discussions with ‘Mac’ which seem to put things into perspective.
Masterson’s experience closely paralleled my own, which is probably why I so enjoyed the book. Days of thinking I’ll never make it unless I can take a pill and sleep for the next 40-39-38 days, especially if I have to smell anymore of those delicious smells coming from nearby kitchens. Thinking that I’ll never make it unless God starts talking to me, after all look at what I’m doing, and then realizing that this isn’t a bargaining chip and that God is right there, waiting for the committee in my head to shut up so that I can hear what God is saying.
As he struggles with life on life’s terms he learns important lessons, like “I’m not God, and there are some questions that I can’t answer” and lessons about solitude and forgiveness, and especially about love. Oh and there’s also an important lesson about 150# and God's sense of humor.
I rank it 5/5. As an added bonus there is an appendix which offers some practical tips about fasting.
I received an electronic galley free in exchange for a review of this book.

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