For Mark, the gospel begins with John. It begins with a voice crying in the wilderness, "Make straight the way of the Lord." It is a voice that calls for turning, for repentance. The way to Jesus has always been a way that begins and is sustained in repentance. As you finish your second day of the fast you may be feeling your own stubbornness, and your own weakness. On the one hand, your body may be fighting you a little; aching and complaining. Your body is literally going through detox as it cleans out all the toxins you have stored up. Similarly, you may be finding it harder to be kind, or patient or generous. Denying ourselves and trying to pray in this way can really expose us for the self-serving people we really are. There are spiritual toxins in us too. This point in the fast is the perfect occasion for confession and repentance. Confess the weakness you are feeling in your body, and ask God to show you more of the weakness you really have in your soul. Rest assured, a broken and contrite heart is what God desires — and a steady diet of repentance prepares the way for Jesus to come. Don’t be afraid to really cry out to God. He hears you and is working through each moment you are fasting, tearing down our delusions, shining his light on us, and reminding us that without him we are nothing.