March 8, 2009

The 2009 version of The Fast

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:18 pm by dgcombs

I enjoy the Fast. Some people don’t. Bahá’ís fast for 19 days from March 2nd to March 21st. This is the Bahá’í month of Alá (Loftiness). During this month, there is no eating or drinking (and the Arabic word for drinking also covers smoking!) during daylight hours for all of its 19 days. Now, there are provisions for the sick and pregnancy. In fact, the provision says, “not permitted.” And it’s a voluntary practice of an obligatory act. There’s no one checking that I am fasting other than my own self.

I find it odd that many folks don’t understand.

People ask me why I’m not having lunch and I say, “I’m fasting.” And they come back with one of two questions, “are you crazy?” and “are you trying to lose weight?” The first one I’m not so sure about, but the second one I can answer. “NO!” Because once the sun sets, I eat.

It is interesting that fasting has been around for ages. But note the changes over time. Jews fast during the Day of Atonement. One day. But many prophets fasted during their ministry. Moses fasted forty days for the sins of Israel. Jesus fasted forty days while in the wilderness and talked about it during His Sermon on the Mount. Moslems are commanded to fast for thirty days during the month of Ramadan.

I made a mistake yesterday (Saturday). I went to the grocery store during the afternoon. I knew it was a mistake from the start. As soon as I walked into the store, everything looked… edible! As I walked up and down the aisles getting what was on my list, I kept getting other stuff that “would be a really good dinner” or “would be a great side dish”. And that’s how we ended up yesterday eating quesidillas and corn with pot stickers and nachos. It was delicious but it was an odd combo.

When I pitched the idea to Tyler, he didn’t seem to mind. He likes quesidillas. He likes pot stickers. He likes nachos. So why not? Throw in a little chocolate milk and you’ve got a meal.

I notice that one of the main features of the Fast is remembering. I remember I’m fasting all the time. When I struggle with my alarm clock in them morning, I remember that I’m getting up earlier so I can prepare for the Fast during the day. All day long I have to remember not to snag a drink at the water fountain. And when evening comes and I want to eat bunches of food, I just literally have no stomach for more than I need. And that gets less and less throughout the month. And this remembering helps me to center things on spiritual matters.

“Fasting is the cause of awakening man. The heart becomes tender and the spirituality of man increases. This is produced by the fact that man’s thoughts will be confined to the commemoration of God, and through this awakening and stimulation surely ideal advancements follow…”

More information on the Bahá’í Faith can be found online.

Some interesting research on fasting in the Bible can be found online.

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1 Comment »

  1. Mom said,

    Very interesting and informative essay on Fasting.

    Thanks!


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