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.