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24 Hours from Tulsa

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 creation.

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 Rocky Mountains.

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 young man.

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 next morning.

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 point: Fasting

Yes, fasting… 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” self healing…

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.

Relaxation: 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 for satisfaction.

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 controlled life.

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 another article.

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 fasting.

Important to 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 very beneficial.

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 before.

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 alarming revelation.

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 food.

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…

Another revelation… 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 fresh grapes.

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.
 


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