Fast, Forward, Fasting.

Fast Forward

‘Fast’ is defined as moving or able to move, operate, function, or take effect quickly (Dictionary.com). The act of being fast suggest movement; to move forward or advance to a certain something or destination. But I wonder how did it draw on a religious connotation?

Why is the abstinence from food for religious purposes called fasting?

A quick check on the etymology (origin) of the word found that the word ‘fast’ came from an Old English (Anglo-Saxon) term ‘fæstan’, which means to ‘hold firmly’. In laymen translation, ‘to observe’ can also be translated to ‘to fast’. Putting that aside, why do religions used the word ‘fasting’ to describe and mark the important occasion of consecration? Why can’t we use abstinence instead and save the hassle? Why ‘fast’?

In my own opinion, the act of fasting seems to bring out the essence of moving forward. There is a Chinese saying that goes “We rest so that we can go a longer distance.” Sounds kind of oxymoron; how do you make progress when you stop progress? But when we look at human biology, then it makes sense that we really do need rest to move forward.

Then it could and would make sense that as it (the notion of rest to go the distance) has been hardwired in our DNA and our biology that, the act of fasting – to abstain from food to reach for a divine experience or enlightenment – could really bring us forward. As we fast, we hold firmly to our beliefs, and in doing so, we move forward. Maybe that’s why the word ‘fasting’ was used to describe this important sacrament to consecrate one’s body. Fast as its name suggest highlights a movement forward. And to fast denotes a believer making a decision to abstain, to move forward.

Hence, it is vital that believers engage in the important activity of fasting, an act that in every essence highlights carnal abandonment, consecration of one’s body to a divine being, and the strengthening of faith [for a need or desire for something to come to pass].

Just like love, a father can sacrifice and give his best to show love; he doesn’t take. It is recorded in the Bible that battles of all kinds are won by bent knees and prayer (Hannah, Esther, Daniel, David, Elijah, Jesus), fasting (Daniel, Cornelius, Esther, David, Jesus) and the sound of trumpets-a vocal act of praise (Joshua, Jehoshaphat, David, Paul). The taking of victory is won by actions (Bent knees? Praying? Fasting? Praising?) that is absurd by human understanding. Why not fight fight fight? But that’s how it works in the Kingdom. Because there is a standard of procedure in the Kingdom and therefore, as believers and citizens we operate not by earth’s SOP but by heaven’s. God’s ways are higher than our ways, therefore we fight with weapons that are different but spiritual, different but powerful and mighty in pulling down strongholds.

Fast to move forward. And as we fast, we fast forward into the future and destiny God has set aside for us.

 

References:

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=fast

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/fast?s=t

http://www.shadesofgrace.org/2012/01/12/fasting-day-6-following-the-footsteps-of-our-heroes/

http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/articles/index.php?view=article&aid=20256

Scribblings: 小事情

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SCRIBBLINGS DATED 9 SEPTEMBER 2013

My mom has a particular slang; “小事情”. Whenever I come to her with a problem, she would always reply a “小事情” to my concerns. Perhaps sandwiched between my dad, my younger brother and myself, all of whom are more opinionated and ‘exuberant in expressing our feelings’, my dear mother adopts the ‘小事情’ approach to bring some balance in this otherwise lopsided equation-of-a-family.

After being told by mother, I calm down and see that hey, actually things may not be as bad as it seems. Taking the emotion out and viewing the issue from a third-person perspective, I am able to identify that the problem is not as serious as I thought it be after all. Much can be learnt from my mom’s mantra to life. As we take on life’s challenges, sometimes the storms that the waves of life bring may seem so menacing and overwhelming that it could sink our ship with one mighty swipe. That’s when we adopt the ‘小事情’ approach to looking at things. It’s like taking yourself out of the set of the Pirates of the Caribbean and watching it unfold on a 47′ plasma TV. When we bring our perspective to another dimension of approach, we put aside the initial garnered feelings of anxiety and worry. We are then able to be calm and collected, and from there identify a solution to the problem at hand. The stars prevail even in the most darkest of nights.

Jesus also adopted the ‘小事情’ approach in Mark 4:35-41. A freak storm that came out of nowhere was battering at the ship they were on but Jesus was totally indifferent, taking a nap (amazing He could even sleep in a storm, that shows how secure He is too anyways) at possibly the worst time. His disciples were petrified, terrified, face turned green as grass from all the rocking of the ship and, face turned white for fear of dying. They woke Him up saying, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” I can imagine Jesus saying “小事情 la” followed by a “Don’t disturb my beauty sleep, I still got a lot of preaching to do, you know?” And surely the storm was silenced and they got safely to their destination.

The best part to it is, Captain Jack Sparrow’s ship, ‘The Black Pearl’ always survives the worst of storms and firefights, emerging victorious each time to sail into the horizon.

“小事情”, your ship will make it through.

Oceans

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Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

– Oceans, Hillsong United

 

When I have You, I could walk on water, 

The great unknown shall devour me not.

So walk I shall through this narrow way,

Through hell or high water,

My trust is in the Name of the Lord.

Making The Right Investment

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Don’t be so busy trying to be politically right with the world and everyone else that we neglects being right with the most important sort – our family & loved ones.

We all withdraw 86,400 credits from the Bank of Time daily, make the right investment such that there will be a bountiful return of investment when time is ripe.