Hello fellow members, citizens of the human race. How are you, I hope you’re well and happy!
It was Thursday night of interfaith week which had been launched the Sunday before, but a couple of weeks earlier, I was looking through the Interfaith Scotland program of events and a title ”Could fasting Change the World” grabbed my attention. I’d expressed a comment or two in a previous blog regarding the title and now here I was at the event. There were three speakers from Jewish, Muslim and Christian backgrounds who all gave a personal account of what fasting meant to them. Once again after making a conscious effort to really listen to what was being said I was reminded how much unity in diversity there was in the language used to describe an individual understanding of what the purpose and benefits of fasting are.
This led me to much food for thought and I came away nourished with the thought that fasting is an opportunity to create conditions that become food for the soul. Fasting has the potential to create conditions which elevate a state of mindfulness which in turn assists us to unravel some of the mysteries of the human experience within ourselves and the world of humanity. The knock on effect is that we can unlock our potential to contribute and to serve each other more effectively.
Now here’s a thought just popped in my head. Let’s say a creator has created all humanity from the same substance. God through his divine educators (e.g. Mohammad, Christ, Moses, and in my case Baha’u’llah and others too) offers the gift of fasting. Remembering fasting can be considered a spiritual food for the soul. Also in one sense fasting is like a tool, a spiritual yearly ‘MOT’. The thing is to get an MOT there are conditions to be met. When you take your car for an MOT you know your tyres have to have tread on them. This a basic requirement if your tyres are bald no MOT. There is a saying,’Trust in God but tie up your camel’. So if you’re driving around and your tyres are bald and you have to stop suddenly it’s fair to say you can trust in God all yer like but did yer tie up your camel, you get my drift.
So back to fasting and considering our motives, exercising detachment, mindfulness, contemplation a time of year for prayerful reflection and at the end of the fast……. renewal, refreshed like a spiritual MOT.
These are a few thoughts I’m sure you have your own. The thing is at the end of the day we’re all on our journeys in this life and there’s no doubt in my mind there’s stuff to learn. For believers the learning is both spiritual and material and learning to ‘walk a spiritual life with practical feet’ is where its at. Can fasting assist? In my book it can change the world …….maybe.
Thank you to Rev Cedric Blakey for pulling the interfaith event together and also thank you to the speakers and Andulas Mosque for being hosts.
Love and Peace