Fasting and Breaking Through
Happy to say I’m getting back into the swing of things. I’ll probably start a little slow and stick to one-note topics rather than series for a little while as I dust off my brain and see what shakes loose. My church (www.southpointcc.com for any of you local people, I highly encourage you to visit!) is doing a 21 day fast before Easter. The purpose of the fast is two-fold. First, we are praying for an increase in unsaved visitors to the church, more visitors = more changed lives. Secondly, we are praying for breakthroughs in our own lives and circumstances.
I think that most of us associate fasting with what we eat, but this is a more interesting version on that theme. We can fast from anything under the sun. For some people it might be Facebook and Twitter, for others it might television. The goal is to give up something that is a real sacrifice for you. When you think about what you are giving up it is a reminder that those things are not God and reminds you to focus in and pray to the one God who truly matters.
My personal commitment is to give up video games. Besides baseball I would say that video games are my biggest guilty pleasure, I just love them. My games of choice are typically RPG’s or other story driven games, even though I can get lost in a sports game or a Rock Band game for a couple of months at a time. So, you might wonder, why video games instead of baseball. I’ve actually realized that my other choices in life are going to lead to a mandatory cut back on that front without having to fast from it.
Last year I probably watched 140+ baseball games. I did everything I could to work with my schedule to make sure I was in front of a TV when the games would come on. This year I don’t think I can get anywhere close to that. Going to the gym 3 nights a week is an immediate change. Last week I rushed through a workout from 5:30 to 7 to get back before the game started, but I just can’t make that normal. Most nights I won’t be able to get off work that early, and I don’t like rushing in the gym. In addition my other activities on the days I’m not working out will also get in the way. As a result it looks like my baseball watching time will be significantly curtailed this season. It doesn’t take much to give up something that you’re already losing does it? Nope. So instead I’ll be giving up video games.
Now, what do I want a breakthrough in? That’s the million dollar question. Weight loss is an obvious answer, but as I do more work in the gym I’m realizing that I’m going to accomplish this with my own power, the same as I did the first time that I lost weight. Breakthroughs at work are always nice, and a breakthrough in my writing would also be great. In the end, I think that the breakthrough I want in my life is one related to my purpose outside of my career goals.
I’ve shared that I feel that my purpose in life is to share things with people to help them. Sometimes this is by writing an article that helps them prep for an interview and get a job. Sometimes it might be by listening to someone and encouraging them, giving them confidence to try something new that will change their life. That’s one of the primary reasons I started this blog in the first place, to give me an outlet and help me to share. By sharing openly and honestly I hope that I can make a positive impact in your lives.
Realistically I know that I know I’m not doing enough. The bible says that you will know a person by the fruit that they bear. When I look around me I see wonderful fruit as a result of the seed I’ve sown into my career. Lately I’ve seen better fruit in the area of friendships. But when I look at my efforts to help people, all I see are a couple of shriveled plums and a few raisins. Not exactly fruit that I can be proud of. It bothers me most when I compare that paltry harvest to the places where I do spend my time – time in front of a TV watching baseball, time playing video games or playing fantasy sports. Where’s the fruit? What good does it do me to sow my time into things that are unimportant, and how many life changing opportunities have a missed while spending my time this way?
That is the breakthrough that I want. I want a breakthrough in discipline, a breakthrough in opportunity. I want a breakthrough to change the way that I spend my life to one that makes a greater impact on the people around me.
Sometimes I think about dying. I think about what I will think and feel some day when I lay on my deathbed in the distant future. I already know the question that I’ll be asking myself. Did I live a life worth living? It pains me to think that the answer to that question could be “no” when the time comes. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what the answer is going to be if I allow things that should be recreational to take up so much of my time away from work.
So I want a breakthrough. I want a breakthrough in my own ability to identify the right places to spend my time. I want a breakthrough in my discipline to keep myself in the game when I would rather rest. Lastly, I want a breakthrough in the results that I achieve. I want to look at the fruit of my efforts to help people and see a giant cornucopia; I want to see fruit I can’t even name. That’s what I want out of my life.
How about you? Do you read this and think about a thing or two that is taking up more of your time than you think it should. Why don’t you try joining us on our fast? There are 14 days left. 14 days isn’t long, but it’s a start. Be careful though, you might find yourself with your own breakthrough!