NemoExitBuddy There are so many great life lessons in the movie Finding Nemo. I know this because I have seen it roughly 135 times. Or at least it was on while I was in near vicinity, because it has been an oft-requested favorite among the preschool crowd in my house. The particular scene that comes to mind this morning is when Marlin and Dory are just about to exit the Eastern Australian Current and Crush the sea turtle asks them, “Do you have your exit buddy?” Because you see, they are about to go through “the swirling vortex of terror” (as Marlin calls it) on their way out of the current, so they can continue on to Sydney to find Nemo. The Exit Buddy is important, because as you begin anything that seems a little scary, it’s always better to have a buddy. Marlin and Dory discover that the swirling exit current is actually pretty fun! Sounds pretty true to life to me. Most things are not as bad as we think they will be.

As we get ready for the Month of Dedication, I want to ask, “Do you have your Fasting Buddy?”

As you are giving up food and challenging your body it is especially important that you feed your Spirit and Soul by connecting with God and being in a relationship that is supportive to your fast. We are calling this person a “Fasting Buddy” – someone who knows what you are fasting from and what you are praying for. Your Fasting Buddy is invited to support you, challenge you, pray for you, and help you stay engaged throughout the fast. But more than that, your Fasting Buddy is someone you can share your joys, lessons, and triumphs with as well.

Remember, a Month of Dedication is about TURNING TO GOD most of all. The fasting part of it just helps remind us to do that. In the next few days I will be posting a “Reading List” on here that will take us through each week. Every day is a great day to look at the Scriptures, and maybe jot down a few notes about what God might be saying. Sometimes you only have time for a few verses, a “snack” time with God. That won’t lead you to a thriving personal spiritual life, but it is a great place to start, and sometimes that is all we really have time for. But when we get a chance, we should eat a “meal” (like spend twenty minutes or so of uninterrupted time in worship, reading the Bible, praying, meditation, or journaling about what God is saying… whatever feeds your soul and helps you connect to God). And every once in awhile, it is so fun and amazing to have a “feast” with God: to spend an hour or more (not counting Sunday mornings!) purposefully seeking God. I want to invite and challenge you to have a “snack” every day, a “meal” as often as you can, and a “feast” at least one time during this Month. On the reading list, there will be “snack” and “meal” suggestions for each day, and I will also post something about crafting and scheduling your own “feast” as it will fit in to your own schedule sometime in these 4 weeks.

On that note, I think I’ll go have some lunch! Happy Sunday… have fun with Jesus today. And don’t forget to Find Your Fasting Buddy! Buddies make everything more fun.