- It's a tangible way to invoke and express gratitude for the things we have, i.e. easy access to good food and clean water as well as a million other blessings we're lucky to have. I've found that gratitude and daily happiness are directly proportional.
- A real-life application of self-mastery. It may be symbolic or it may be literal, but either way it's a simple and regular practice of overcoming the "natural man," or any carnal desires that may be natural, but shouldn't be abused. Mormons are somewhat big on becoming better ("stronger, faster!"), more awesome and simply good versions of themselves, whether that's a bus driver, an accountant, a musician, a husband or student. We're all neighbors, brothers, sisters and humans, so in the very least we could keep in mind how we could be better at those roles, and thus make the world a bit of a better place.
- Fasting two meals saves a couple pennies. One of the reasons I really like being a part of my church, even in this secular age where being active in any church is pretty outlandish (and usually pegs you as a close-minded right-wing evangelist, which I'm not) is that it's a place that actually provides me real-life opportunities to actually act Christian, not just believe Christianity (they are not the same thing). That is to say, there are simple and powerful programs in place that allow me to actually serve people both in and out of the organization, even when my lazier instincts would be to not bother. One of those ways is "Fast Offerings." Jaime and I take the money we save from skipping a couple meals (and then add some extra for good karma when we can) and put it in a fund that's set aside specially to help those that really need it (think like: The Salvation Army). It's a small token for those that are not as fortunate as we are. We've been doing this ever since we had any sort of income and roof over our heads. It's simple charity born through simple sacrifice that happens to be good for us anyway. When you think of it that way, and now that we're in the habit, it almost seems silly not to take part.
Anyway, that's just to serve as an explanation for why my menu today didn't start until after 5pm and was just a red pepper and carrot soup with bread and home made salad (with avocado, mmmm). And Then Jaime made chocolate chip cookies, which I've decided is my favorite vegetarian food. (Yes, that's a joke, but no, I'm not kidding. And yes, that last sentence does make sense).