By Wendy A. Jones
Friday I spent the day in the kitchen, making cupcakes. My subdivision had a garage sale scheduled for Saturday, so I had planned to sell some stuff and increase my profits by selling baked goods. As per usual, once an idea gets a hold of me I go slightly overboard.
I made seven or eight varieties of cupcakes and spent way too much time and energy making them delicious and beautiful. After the sale yesterday, I counted out the money in the jewelry-cum-cash box. I made $86.16 (and that includes money I made from garage sale stuff).
Beyond that, I still had about 48 cupcakes left over.
When I woke up this morning, late and groggy from staying up into the wee hours reading Sean Griswold's Head by Lindsey Leavitt (which I highly recommed, by the way, if you are a YA fan) I remembered all the cupcakes in my refrigerator. Especially the cinnamon toast ones. They are fabulous, if I do say so myself.
I am the type of person who thinks one or two cupcakes, with a glass of milk, is a perfectly acceptable breakfast. Occasionally. Once or twice a week.
But it's the first Sunday of the month--fast Sunday in Mormon homes across the world where we go without food or drink for two meals and donate the cost of those meals to people in need. In addition, fasting increases spiritual strength. Win-win, right?
Yeah, tell that to the cupcakes.
One of my favorite scriptures is in Mosiah 3:19. "For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father."
I read this scripture sometimes and consider it a largely mental process--the submitting and the humbling, the patience and the love. As a person fasts, though, it is much easier to do those things. By subduing the most natural part of us we truly realize how much we depend on the Lord's goodness to support us from moment to moment. In some ways, the spiritual side becomes stronger than the physical side during fasting. Usually our physical body is yelling at us so loudly to do its bidding we can miss the relative whispers of our spirits.
In some ways, it's surprising that fasting even works. You would think the body clamoring for something to eat would make it harder to hear the Spirit. I'm not quite sure why it isn't, but I know there's a sort of power when you can tell your hunger, "Hush up. I'm fasting about ______" that gives your spirit a little boost.
As I tell those cinnamon toast cupcakes calling me from the refrigerator, "Hush up. I'm fasting," I feel a little stronger.
And I think of how the deliciousness will be compounded when, after dinner tonight, I sink my teeth into its spicy goodness. Too many cupcakes? Never.