Several days ago, one of my friends on Facebook linked this article about a guy who sought out to try an ancient tradition practiced by some Bavarian monks: A beer fast.
Personally, I found the article intriguing as Wilson embarked upon this journey not as any sort of fad diet or weight-loss program, but as a spiritual discipline and research project. Reading his article and reflection confirms much of what I had read about fasting for extended periods of time.
Of course, with the media attention Wilson received, suddenly the Beer Fast has become a diet program. Here's an interesting video from Fox that I came across today:
The difference between Wilson's reflections and the two people in the video is stark. Neither of the folks in the video could endure the fast and gave up before the week was over.
In my estimation, there is a reason: they weren't trying a spiritual discipline. Such disciplines invite us to give up something dear to us so that we can focus our thoughts on God. With God's help, such discipline gives us focus, clarity, and enhances our lives--just like it did with Wilson. If we are doing such a thing for our own benefit (like the folks in the video), it will turn into a horrible experience.
Just a word of advice for anyone who wants to do a beer diet to loose weight: don't. But if you want to go on a beer fast--using Wilson as an example--to enhance your spiritual growth, do it. One will be a horrible experience. The other will probably bring you great joy.