My (amazing) yoga teacher says that the hardest part of yoga is not the body movements or the breathing; it is disciplining the mind. Quieting it to the point of peacefulness. Politely showing thoughts and worries to the door and focusing in on silence. This takes incredible patience with myself. To keep quieting my mind every few seconds for nearly the entire two hour class, and not get frustrated. To pursue peace relentlessly, whilst relinquishing the desire for that peace to come faster, or be joined at the hip with prosperity or a skinnier body or a brighter mind.
Fasting is the same. It requires continuous movement towards relinquishing the self and opening up to be filled with God, a moment by moment choice to recieve Him with arms wide open (or halfway open, or maybe even just one palm. Whatever we can mange). Fasting is discipline. It reminds me of my very human humanness. How I falter, even at the simplistic spiritual tasks. And how that's okay. All I can manage, the best I can do; it is enough because it is not about me. It is about how much God loves us and how His child burst into the world to be torn in two and executed in order to conquer death for all time for all of us. Not because we worked hard and lived well and were righteous people (!!! Or I would be doomed) but because His love is perfect. He sees all the mitigating factors and the broken childhoods and the quiet hurts, and the loud ones. He sees it all, and He translates all of it to redemption. Perfect wholeness. Pure love.