You Train Them Then – – –
– – – they turn back to you and remind you of how you’ve trained them.
This is the beauty of mentoring.
From the many spiritual disciplines I wanted to impart to my kids, fasting was one of them. Seeking God while letting go of the very things we love to eat and do is one of the most precious spiritual disciplines we all Christians should incorporate into our lives.
Well, when I say “fasting,” some people may take it too far and assume that I’m talking about going to the mountains and fasting for forty days and forty nights. I mean, I wish I could do that, and I know some people who are blessed by this kind of spiritual discipline. But I’m talking about fasting in a way that fits our busy and hectic lifestyles. Some people fast from TV or Internet or from drinking juice, soda or coffee, or certain food for 40 days.
When I began teaching my kids to fast, three of them were little; I think my youngest one was five or six. So, I explained to them what fasting is all about in terms they could understand. Then to my surprise, they were very excited. So, I said, “Okay, we all need to let go of chewing gum and eating candy until Easter.” And I warned them that all of hell may let lose to convince them to break their fast; that fact made them even more excited.
This was our humble beginning – but that is not what I wanted to share with you today.
Well, last Wednesday, I bought pretzels covered with caramel and dark chocolate. I know, it is an insanely good snack. I already ate two of them by the time I got home. Then I put them on the kitchen island table so my kids could find them as they came back from school. So, they all came back from school and I was expecting someone to scream, saying, “Mom! Where did you get these? They are so good!”
Instead, my only daughter, Lydia, hollered, “Mom, why? We’re fasting! Lent is here, remember?”
I was so embarrassed! I’m not kidding! I just wanted to hide or something. I taught them how to fast and now they turn around and remind me of what I taught them. Now it’s been four days since I joined them.
So, here is what I want to share with you today: The best spiritual discipline we all should have as followers of Jesus Christ is fasting from the things we love to eat or do for the sake of seeking God’s face. Remember, we don’t fast to go to heaven. Since we’ve come to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, we have already boarded the train that is bound to heaven. So, we fast to know God in the most intimate way possible – to know Him, His love, mercy and grace and more importantly His will in specific situations. And when we fast, we do some soul searching and reflection. It is just beautiful!
And if you’re blessed by the gift of God (by children of your own – Psalm 127:3), on top of prayer and reading/studying the word of God, teach them to fast. But make sure you are a good example for them to model after. Then, if and when you forget to fast, don’t worry, you have your kids. They are like police officers whose main job is to enforce the law, they will catch you every time.
Hey, BTW, if you want to join our family in this lent season, you’re most welcome. Just fast in the way that best fits your own life. Then we break the Lenten fast on Easter Sunday. ///