Sunday, February 6, 2011

I See... an Unbroken Fast

The law of the fast is one principle of the gospel that still challenges me. I believe in it and have faith in it until it is time to live it. Then, more often then not, the natural man takes over and I end up spending more time thinking about what I'm missing temporally rather than what I should be getting spiritually.

The last hours on Sunday afternoon are particularly grueling. 93 minutes until 4:30... perhaps I could sleep through the next 93 minutes... if I could just eat a few crackers, just one or two cookies, I just might be able to survive my hunger pains... is it 4:30 yet? These are the thoughts that race through my mortal mind as I struggle to keep an unbroken fast.

Then I read about another kind of unbroken fast; the forced fast cruelly imposed on prisoners of war maintained by sadistic Japanese military overlords and scrupulously documented in the historical biography classic “Unbroken.” Since this is a family blog, I won't delve into as much gory details as author Laura Hillebrand did on the depths of depravity that the Japanese reached in their treatment of POWs. Let's just say that the Japanese mastered the essence of an intentional, orchestrated strategy to physically and mentally enslave those unlucky enough to be captured, and deny them not only basic sustenance but also human dignity. While the average POW after the war weighed between 70-90 pounds and suffered some form on post traumatic stress syndrome for decades, many refused to be broken by the horrific treatment imposed by their captors and displayed uncommon moral courage both during and after their captivity. Hence, they were “Unbroken.”

So now it's the conclusion of another challenging fast Sunday afternoon for the Mormon Third Eye; even as I finish this 185th post, I have to concentrate to remember to not accidentally walk through the kitchen or the food storage in the basement to avoid the temptation to break my unbroken fast. I feel incredibly puny, however, after finishing reading “Unbroken;” it should not be a problem to finish losing the few pounds I'll probably gain back this evening rewarding myself for my sacrifice.

1 comment:

  1. Richard,
    You're point is well taken. Too often fasting can feel like a burden instead of a blessing. You've reminded me how wonderful it is to be able to decide for myself to fast, and receive spiritual nourishment in return. You're a brave soul to read this book - it would haunt me for years.