24 Hours from
Do you remember
that Gene Pitney song? The title is apropos for this article.
It’s not about music nor Tulsa. We live our entire life suffering in
this world... Well, many of us do do. Mankind has free will yet the unruly
flesh craves constant satisfaction of its lust. Oddly, the
relief we seek has been close at hand all along.
I lived most of my
life in the Chicago area. Frequent family vacations took us far and
wide all over the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean. It
always amazed me to visit far away places different from where I
lived. Climate differed as did the terrain and vegetation as well as
accents and culture of the locals.
Having had my fill
of the chaos of adolescent abuse of life I desired to pursue life
ambitions. I was 19 years old, having just buried my father, life
was now my own more than ever before.
Working in my
darkroom for years, a pattern had set in. A pattern I was
comfortable with… I would soon drive alone to Colorado to visit
friends. I been to Colorado with my family when I was younger a
couple of times and had seen the Rocky Mountains.
But now as a young
man I was compelled to go there again but for different reasons. I
traveled alone in my car with cassette tapes playing familiar songs.
I drove across Illinois soon crossing the Mississippi river and
through plains of Iowa and Nebraska. It was a moment of solitude….
memories of my father’s recent passing… sorting out ambitious
dreams, and seeking the bearings for my future.
Farm fields blew by
as I drove West toward Colorado. After 16 hours on the road I
stopped at a motel for the night. Next morning, within a few hours
drive I began to see faint image of the Rocky Mountains over the
plains on the Colorado horizon.
The sight of the
Rockies is breathtaking! I had seen them before but this trip I
craved them in great anticipation. First memory of seeing the
Rockies in the distance, dad asked how far away I thought they were…
I was 10 years old and had no frame of reference to measure distance
at that age. I guessed 10 miles… in reality they were many more
miles distant. Dad posed that question to help me appreciate the
immensity of the mountains distant on the horizon in hopes I would
be all the more amazed. And I was amazed as hours past and the
mountains loomed lager and larger as we approached. Ultimately we
arrived at the summit and marvelous experiences ensued.
As I approached the
mountains they grew larger looming loftily as I approached the
imposing mountain ridge, I was awestruck just as I was in my youth.
Still driving through farm fields, my eyes were transfixed on the
majestic sight of cloud covered snow peaked mountain ridges.
Yearning to be
there grew in me as if calling me from Chicago. I drove on toward
the formidable mountain ridge after day and half drive. I quickly
found the road the leads up to the high mountains where trees and
berry bushes flourish, mountain streams flow with crystal clear
water, and bears ramble about in their natural surrounds. And I was
there seeing again it with my own eyes. I was driving up winding
roads high among rough terrain, dangerous to the uninitiated. It was
amazing to travel from warm Summer climate and find snow covered
roads within minutes drive from the summit in Denver.
No way to resist
the immense majesty of the Mountain ridge constantly present looming
at the horizon. Everyone living there is accustom to the Rockies… an
immovable presence. The Rocky Mountain Ridge sits firm and still
against the horizon as assurance that God was in control of His
For me… being a kid
from Chicago… we had the city as our majestic anchor to always be
there. At this time of my life I needed something not from man but
rather from God to be my anchor. And so it was that I beheld the
Hours earlier I had
been sleeping in my bedroom in Illinois. Yet, after only a day and a
half drive I was in the presence of fantastic majesty. These
mountains have virtually “always” been there! I was stirred deeply
by the sight and experience seeing now through independent eyes as a
This trip to
Colorado was not just a simple vacation or chance to visit old
friends. I bonded with new cool people, let go of some bad habits,
learned about natural foods, and made beautiful photographs. When I
returned to Illinois I was a new and better person much happier in
life than I had been before.
Here’s the point.
Those mountains were always there… for all my life… just 18 hours
away. How many times have you stayed up late watching a movie on tv
struggling to say awake to get to the end only to not even remember
it the next day? I did that a lot. How many nights did you stay up
late and slept late the next day seeking for satisfaction? What did
it gain you? Seemed so important that night but not important the
As physical human’s
we are egocentric little shit bags seeking endless pleasure to
satisfy the cravings of our flesh. We require constant pleasure to
satisfy our deep yearnings for love, acceptance, and peace… it
happens but is temporary and soon we seek more… a seemingly endless
cycle of temporary pleasure then reoccurring need. We palliate the
symptom and repeat the pattern. The lust of the eye and desire of
the flesh cannot be satisfied by things in the world. This aint
heaven my friend. As fallen humans in the dense physical world, we
are separated from the heaven we once knew… But God did not call us
here to leave us helpless!
The answer we seek…
the comfort we crave… the peace we pray for has always been present
all our lives!
On to next
commonly misunderstood as a quaint religious practice with no
practical purpose in the modern world. When I had Moss Hill Natural
Foods in the early 70’s I read everything I could find about natural
foods, organic farming, natural hygiene, and fasting.
My father was a
brilliant doctor and amateur etymologist. He taught me about the
natural and physical sciences. Under his tutelage I gained a deep
appreciation of and fascination with the physical and natural world.
In the garden of
Eden, Adam was created perfect and immortal. The human body heals
itself! How amazed would we be if scientists created a robot that
when injured would heal the wound within days as if injury had never
occurred? When you suffer cut or injury, the human body repairs
itself! Think about that….
Now living in
fallen world, the human body still has tendency toward health
despite the curse of sin. In this world we’re still alive for period
of time despite curse of death. Body still performs “miraculous”
To the natural
mind, fasting makes no sense at all. We’ve been accustom to eating
daily and indoctrinated to believe that we need this and that amount
of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, enzymes, on daily basis. While
this is good advice… there’s more to the story.
The human body has
an innate function to heal and restore in the absence of daily food
intake that few have ever experienced. It’s all about fasting.
Intake and digestion of food is what the human body requires on a
daily basis. Fasting is total abstinence of food intake.
Total absence of effort.
“Let go and let
God”: Don’t let this simple message become a cliché. It’s a powerful
lesson. I first learned of “Relaxation” when I was 20 years old and
it transformed my life with an endless stream of lessons. Mankind
has control of the physical body… the seat of the soul, ego,
controls exercise of it’s voluntary muscles. And control we do! We
control every impulse to serve the ego in it’s unquenchable search
Given our free will
we have choice. We can either feed the physical craving or not. Deny
the craving of the flesh and find great opposition. Few ever
discover this. Most feed the physical craving and just go along with
the program and miss the amazing blessing of living a spirit
Relaxation is the
only thing you can do without doing anything. Relaxation is the 100%
absence of physical impulse… complete surrender… more on that in
Fasting is similar…
complete surrender to nothing. Just keep living without eating…
human body reacts with cravings but you can over ride those
cravings. Human body has a built in function that occurs when
understand basic function of ingestion, digestion, metabolism, and
elimination… Human body requires food for nutrition… but we eat food
more often than not for pleasure not for nutrition… eating food
should be enjoyable… nothing wrong with that…
Ingestion of food
is first step of the process… digestion is second, metabolism and
elimination third… Important to understand the process… the body
appropriates the nutrients through metabolism… what is misunderstood
or unknown is the process of catabolism and elimination.
It’s one thing to
ingest food but what happens after is another issue. Food is
metabolized and nourishes the body… but we are grossly ignorant of
the elimination process… cells die and are replaced… there is waste
in this process… the body continually deals with elimination of dead
cells and other waste by products from metabolism… catabolism is all
about elimination of the waste byproducts of metabolism… the lungs
exhale, the bowls evacuate, liver process and prepares waste for
elimination through bladder and bowel. The largest elimination part
of the body is skin!
By product of
metabolism and catabolism is crucial… waste is poisonous to the
body. If impeded in anyway, toxins build up and cause disease.
So fasting… when
one allows the body to fast, a very special phenomenon occurs. The
body goes into “fasting mode” when you don’t eat. Fasting is not
abstaining from this or that food… fasting is the absolute denial of
ingesting any food… requires the drinking water only for minimum
period of from sunrise to sunrise. Religious fasting has it’s merit
albeit mostly superficial. Real fasting means abstaining from all
food other than water from sunrise to sunrise at a minimum. Many
people fast for multiple days. 30 day fasts are not uncommon and
Here’s the deal:
Fasting is good. Sunrise to sunrise with no food… water only… best
sleep you will ever have… totally relaxed… waking next morning you
experience the revelation of body free from cycles of desire and
fulfillment and senses more keen than you’ve ever known before… ears
hear far off sounds never before noticed, eyes see more clearly,
sense of smell amplified… flowers smell more beautiful then before…
your body is poised and relaxed to a depth you never experienced
The human body
easily is accustom to many cycles of ingesting and digesting food…
we also eat foods that are not good for us. Natural man is ruled by
these cycles of craving and satisfying the lusts of the flesh… by
denying the body its temporary carnal pleasures the cravings cycle
through and cease… fasting is the way to bring everything to their
natural “default settings”… it’s a way to recalibrate your body to
it’s basic original “default” status with the goal of getting your
bearings set right… it ends unhealthy cravings… resets everything
back to zero…
My first fast:
Innocently I chose to fast… yes entire day and night with no food…
Though fully persuaded that fasting was a good thing, my first fast
was a revelation. I read all the books and was mentally prepared…
all good… first observation… this will be easy… not so. It was easy
to abstain from food though most of the day but late afternoon I
began to have desire for food… I was actually shocked to realize
there was a controversy between my will and my flesh. I had
consciously decided to abstain yet, my “body” voiced it’s first
opposition in the most alarming way. Suddenly my thoughts were
interrupted by a strange voice… I had not anticipated this… remains
of sister Lois’ birthday cake sat on kitchen counter… it was easy
for me to pass on eating cake earlier that day… but this night the
“temptation” was great. Clear as a bell I could hear a “voice”
tempting me with rational thought to eat a piece of the cake. I was
totally surprised to hear “another” voice in my head… I recognized
for the first time that I was being tempted by Satan. It was an
After resisting the
desire I noticed a pronounced peace that came over me. I was ok!
Something “natural” in me took over and I was able to actually
“enjoy” the experience rather than suffer through the denial of
I saw an
interesting visual example in my mind… dogs eating their food… one
dog is eating from the bowl while excluding another dog… The
excluded dog growled… I imagined this is how the natural body craves
food and pleasure so much that the “dog” in us would growl were we
to be denied our animal impulses…
I chose to eat only raw foods for a while… uncooked, fresh fruits,
and vegetables exclusively. I enjoyed this regimen for 9 months.
When invited to visit friends, pizza was the main food event. I
regretted my choice to eat only raw foods but I eagerly wanted to
socialize with my friends and chose to bring a bunch of grapes and
not indulge in pizza with them. Part of me was jealous of my friends
who would enjoy steaming hot melted cheese pizza… yet another part
of me was committed to a personal conviction to continue eating only
raw foods. I imagined the delight of eating slice after slice of the
pizza I had so often enjoyed many times before.
I arrived at
friend’s home with my bag of grapes and soon pizza arrived. I
figured my friends would be feasting on delicious pizza long after I
had eaten my simple meal of grapes. Oddly my friends devoured the
pizza before I had finished eating my grapes. They were totally full
and exhausted and I was happily still enjoying the sweet juices of
Days later I fasted
again… I visited the local Jewel grocery store to see a friend who
worked at the deli counter. She offered me sample of this or that
and I declined telling her that I was fasting. I told her that I had
not eaten food in two days. She was puzzled by my response. I
vividly remember telling her about how satisfying whole natural
foods were. I asked her how many carrots she could eat. She said one
or two. Then I asked her how may potato chips she could eat. She
said “the entire bag”. As Jay’s says “You can’t eat just one”.
Point is that whole
natural foods satisfy and processed foods do not satisfy serving
only to fill the belly wholly without really satisfying the
nutritional needs of the body.
Point is… day in
day out we seek to fulfill the lust of our flesh which cannot ever
be satisfied… deny the flesh for just a few hours… sunrise to
sunrise… and experience peace and satisfaction. The real answer you
seek is 24 hours away… has been all your life… just as the Rocky
Mountains were only 24 hours away…
How many more days
will you waste putting off the answer you really seek? Jesus has
been standing at the door of your heart graciously knocking and
waiting patiently all your life. Let him in so that He can sup with
you and give your heart peace. Deny your physical craving and
discover the life that is already in you yearning to heal you. God
has already provided what you need.