Today we went to the top of the hill… and by that I mean a steep hike uphill with switchbacks (until we discovered the tram halfway up and after we were sweating profusely) that led to a gorgeous place overlooking the city of Prague. Cosby recommended that I go to “the hill” in Prague, and I am assuming this is the place he told me about. There were gorgeous rose gardens, white benches, trees, trails, and a kickbutt view of Prague. We stayed on top for a few hours to read/study/listen/pray… to seek God. I have never had so much free time in my life to devote to God and to prayer, to read good books, to sit and listen to music, to observe and reflect… The pace of life is much slower and I have miniscule responsibilities for school (basically attending class is the extent of my devotion to school at the moment). I am learning alot about myself… my struggles, my fears, my passions, my weaknesses, and my strengths. And God… God is huge, and the evidence of His love and grace and truth in my life is huge.
At three o’clock today Christie and I broke a 24 hour fast with communion on top of the Hill. I’ve never fasted before except for the 30 hour famine with the junior highers at First Pres. Many times I thought I should fast, but felt my motives were off and that my heart was not in it for the right reasons. Both Teddy and I felt individually led to fast during our trip, and we both agreed it was a good time to do it. The best way to learn about fasting is to do it… and Jesus told his disciples to fast and to pray… so we decided to do it. I’m hesitant to blog this because I don’t want it at all to sound self-righteous, legalistic, or spiritually pious. We just did it, and as a part of my experiences in Prague, fasting was one of them. Ultimately, in the final hour of our fast, we realized that it was for God’s glory and none of our own that we should fast. It was an act of worship. Sure I orginally had hoped to learn amazing things about what God has planned for me and to receive a call of some sort (that’s sometimes what I think of when I think of fasting), but in the end I learned once again, that it’s not about me. It’s just not. It’s about worshiping and loving the Father and loving each other. Christie and I, in an act of Christian sisterhood, served each other communion and prayed for each other. Our meal? Wine in an empty soda bottle and a plain bagel from Bohemia Bagel 🙂 And with those elements, we remembered Jesus.
We also discussed the purpose of fasting and the necessity of it in our Spiritual journey with Christ. Jesus did it, He called His disciples to do it, and yet it is often not mentioned in the Church today. I wonder why and I wonder about it’s relevance today. I think fasting is something that comes along with having a daily quiet time… if done without a heart of worship and praise, it runs along the lines of legalism and self-righteous piety. Yet both are disciplines necessary for the disciple of Jesus. I’m learning a lot about disciplines and where the line is drawn between discipline, legalism, self-righteousness, grace, and cheap grace. I’m also reading Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer and it’s rocking my world. Maybe there are points in the disciple’s life when the acceptance of grace is so sure that true worship may be performed in daily disciplines. I’m learning and thinking and questioning a lot about the direction of my faith. It is good for me to be here. Redemption, grace, and freedom in Christ must always be present. May the peace of Christ be our guidance…
p.s. remember to check Christie’s blog because she is a very thorough and thoughtful writer (unlike my scattered and quick writing) and will give you another perspective of our journey. I enjoy her writing and learn a lot from her heart. She’s a sister.