Monday, July 7, 2014

Fast.

I like to think of myself as a full-time, faithful, fully-active Latter Day Saint.

This recent Fast Sunday made me think a bit different.

I realized just how many corners I cut fasting for starters.  Not that I want to be a Pharisee, but it is those things where you notice you start justifying yourself, or where your thoughts really are on such a topic as fasting.

When you start looking at the clock wondering "how much longer do I really have to do this?"

"Will it really matter if I stop doing this right now?"

"God isn't going to really bless me for going hungry while I pray.....will he?"

"Has it really only been two minutes....?"

"What's an hour anyways....?"

You begin to question your faithfulness and spiritual depth and begin to wonder "Do I always do this, or is this just a today-thing where I'm not really with it?"

I can't say we've all thought these things, but I do know that this time I noticed them.

At any rate, strangely, something came out of my fast that was totally unexpected and that was a bit of knowledge and reflection of myself.  I began to see through this course of thinking where I was the source of - or catalyst to - many of my own problems. 

Suddenly, an exercise that seemed one of futility became one of fruitful faith that enlightened me and gave me power that I didn't have before - because I could see things I hadn't before.

I began to see just how undisciplined my mind is and how often it has been, and how fasting can be a measure - a test - of our self-discipline, our spiritual discipline, our faithfulness, and our spiritual depth.

I really came away from the fast having my prayers answered in a way that I hadn't expected. 

And at the same time, had I just been engaged in hollow ritual with rote prayer - I don't know that I would have been blessed.  I was given the free-agency to experience this commandment and choose, and by my choices and even thoughts, I came to see where I have erred and have been weak.

My weaknesses shall become strengths.  And we are given weakness that we may learn to be humble...

So for the law of the fast, I say "Thank you Heavenly Father" for this commandment that gave me strength, insight and vision to help me conquer my life's challenges and weaknesses.

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