Monday, February 27, 2012

5 Benefits of Fasting


Fasting is what most will take up this season of Lent. Fast as a form of spiritual discipline has been a part of human history from times unknown. A general definition of a fast would be to abstain from any form of food during the day.

But why fast? How does it help us? What will change if we go on on a hungry stomach for an entire day?

As I pondered upon these questions, new avenues opened up in front of me, and slowly I grew in understanding the meaning of keeping a fast.

1) It shows your body who's the boss: So do you want to be under the flesh or under the spirit? If I act on my every physical urge, my soul is being controlled by my body. We are spiritual beings, our bodies are just an instrument for us to use while we live in this mortal world. Just as a mother withholds the candy from a wayward child, so do we have to withhold food from our bodies, to remind it, that our spirit is in charge.

2) Deferred Gratification: In this instant gratification world. we want to pitch ourselves as the center of the universe and want to work only to fulfill our own demands. Here fasting, builds a selfless, in-control character, where not answering to hunger pangs is a beautiful way to give our own selves a second seat and concentrate on other things.

3) It makes you more sensitive: How would I know the pain of the hungry, if I've never experienced hunger myself? Not only hunger, if practiced correctly fasting will also sensitize you to a lot of other forms of pains that people go through.

4) It frees up time: How often have you cried about the lack of time in your life? Well, fasting has a solution for you! It saves a lot of time during the day if we do not eat our daytime meals. So all the time saved from eating and planning breakfasts and lunches can now be used for a better purpose.

5) No big deal: It shows us that going without food for half a day isn't going to kill anyone. Fasting makes us realize that it is not a big deal to not have food, to remain hungry, to deny any treats offered to us. Yes, we can do it, we can say NO to food without any harm. Its no big deal.

Cannot resist saying:

Man does not live on bread alone!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Champion

There was a Roman emperor, tall and smart and handsome, as any Roman emperor should be. The emperor had a champion. He was strong, wise and very powerful, he had never failed in any battle, whosever’s side he would be on, victory would be certain.

Now the emperor had a bitter enemy, many a times he had struck on the emperor’s kingdom and most of the time it had been without warning. The champion would always be sent to deal with the enemy’s army, and each time the champion returned victorious.

Time passed, and the victories over this enemy created a false pride and assurance in the emperor’s mind.  He now felt that his enemy was weak and could be easily thwarted. And so it once happened that the enemy struck again, in the middle of the night, and had set on fire half the emperor’s barns, the emperor in his fury set out to meet the enemy.

They fought, and the emperor realized that the enemy was stronger than he had expected him to be. The emperor lost the battle and half his kingdom, he barely just escaped death. The champion, so long had been in his chamber, waiting for the emperor to summon him. But the summons never came.

Bruised and tired, the emperor returned to his remaining territory. And as time went by, he again began ruling the kingdom with a faulty faith in himself, assuring his own heart that the last battle was won by the enemy just by sheer luck and the next time when the enemy would strike, the emperor would be ready to face him and defeat him.

Again one afternoon, the army of the enemy came marching upto the castle, challenging the emperor to an open battle. The emperor poured out every soldier from his castle and went into battle with the enemy. What a fierce battle it was! Blood and death, fire and destruction! The castle was looted, all the valuables stolen, this time too the emperor had to leave all behind and run for his life, this time too he had forgotten to call his champion.

He ran up the hills, with the horse-men of the enemy hot on his tail. All hope was lost, the kingdom had fallen into enemy hands, and his life too was at their mercy. Up the hill and into the thatch of bushes he went, and hid in the shadows beside the lake. The horse-men, still in wild search for their quarry. Then the emperor’s eye’s fell on someone at the other end of the lake, he drew a little closer to get a better look, and with a rush of gratitude recognized that standing at the other end was his champion!

He called out to his champion, and the champion answered. Within an hour the horse-men following the emperor were slaughtered, and in the coming 3 days the entire kingdom was won back.

The people rejoiced and so did the emperor, and he also realized that from now on he would let the champion face the enemy.

Are we like the emperor? Who goes out to meet the enemy without his champion? Do we too go out to meet the temptations without our Champion, Jesus Christ? Are you the one who has now lost all the battles against the temptations in life and are now running here and there to save your life? Jesus, the champion, won the biggest battle in 3 days. Let Him face your enemy each time he strikes.