Thursday, August 25, 2011
Thursday, August 18, 2011
As Malaysians, one way or another, we are bound to fast over some things or occasions. We are either following own belief’s yearly fast or we just simply want to fast on over-indulgences, such as Facebook, shopping, eating snacks and so on. However, when it comes to fasting, I realized there is more than just not eating our 3 favourite meals of the day or resisting our minds from doing certain acts. Fasting, for me, challenges us to go beyond our horizon of daily routine and it is supposed to upgrade us to a whole new level of growth -- spiritually. It should, isn't it?
Fasting, as I see it, is not hoping for God above to pardon our never-ending sins, to bless our plain pathetic or to some, awesome lives or even to grant ample of favour for us. It is supposed to challenge us to grow more in Him, not restricting us over a ritual or tradition. Fasting supposedly goes beyond our understanding of our own benefits and of our own self. It is never about “what’s for dinner tonight?” or “I’d like to eat to this for dinner and breakfast” because yea, it’s not just about me, me, me and me! It is never meant to be about us and it never should be about us. Fasting, to me, should make us revolving more around God, or whoever that you may worship. Through fasting, one should have an eternal perspective of how we worship the one who creates us and of how we should dwell in His presence. Because at the end of the day, it is all about Him. Once we have grasped the wholesome idea of this, it makes fasting way easier, no?
One may think that fasting is a way to losing weight, I may not object, because it IS true! Haha. *you should try it!* Nonetheless, this is not the main point here. LOL. Again, as I am in the process of renewing my walk with God, I realized that fasting goes beyond our capabilities to serve our selfish desire but more towards the community.
I once read a scripture in Isaiah 58 verse 1 till 14 (Yesaya 58:1-14, in BM)). This scripture calls for us:
“For day after day they seek me out;
they seem eager to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that does what is right
and has not forsaken the commands of its God.
They ask me for just decisions
and seem eager for God to come near them.
‘Why have we fasted,’ they say,
‘and you have not seen it?
Why have we humbled ourselves,
and you have not noticed?’
“Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please
and exploit all your workers.
Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,
and in striking each other with wicked fists.
You cannot fast as you do today
and expect your voice to be heard on high.
Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
only a day for people to humble themselves?
Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed
and for lying in sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
a day acceptable to the LORD?
Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
We are called to serve others as how we worship our Lord, we are called to bless others with whatever that you have sacrificed for during this fasting season, may it be giving your old (or even new!) clothes, time, attention, cash etc. We are called to be blessings to others because He has first blessed us! What good will fasting be if our relationships with one another are not showing the righteousness and the love of our Lord? Let us challenge ourselves to grow and reach out for the poor and needy out of real conviction and surely the Lord will bless our genuine heart as how you have blessed Him through those generous acts. :) I can bet you learn to expand your level of humility and your contact network all over the place too! Who knows, when you run for presidency, those hands you reached out before will stand up for you, just as how you stood up for them! Haha! :)
Dwell closer in Him through this season of get-to-know-God, and surely you will find joy in Him, just as how it is mentioned in the Scripture. On top of that, be blessed as how you have bless others.
Day 18 of Ramadhan and the joy of the Lord should still be with you! hihihi.