Back in November, I had already decided on one thing I would be fasting in January when our churchwide fast began. I would be fasting something different each week instead of one thing for 21-days. I was glad that God had made it clear to me so early what week one would be because I needed some time to prepare for what was ahead. I had a plan in place and was excited because the timing was perfect. I was anticipating the start of the fast to be the second week of January so things were working out perfectly according to my plan, my goals, and my desires.
I was excited and anxious at the same time. This was a big deal for me. I knew that this was something I needed to do, but I knew it would not be easy. Fasting is a sacrifice and sometimes I try to find the least sacrificial thing to fast so as not to cause myself too much discomfort (I am just being honest here). This would be different, but like I said before, I had my plan in place so I was ready to start my one-week exercise fast on January 9.
Before I go on, I know some of you are thinking, “what’s the big deal about not exercising for a week?” If you know me, then you know that it’s a huge deal. I am an exercise enthusiast, more specifically, a running enthusiast. There are not too many things that would be harder for me to fast than this.
For over a month I had been planning my fast and even sought some wise counsel ahead of time. I was ready! Then, the unthinkable happened. On New Year’s Eve, I felt in my heart that God told me it was time to start January 1. What? Are you kidding me God? What about my tradition of working out on New Year’s Day? What about my run streak? And my perfect plan of ending my new run streak with a run on my birthday? But it was clear. The time was now and I needed to be obedient. The other things didn’t matter. In light of eternity, no one cares about my run streak or if I exercised on New Year’s Day, the only person concerned about those things was me. What matters most is my obedience to God.
Did anyone notice how many times I said “I”, “my”, and “me”? Somehow, I had turned this opportunity to fast into something that was all about me, instead of all about God. So, the time came to make a true sacrifice and be obedient to what God was asking, even if it interrupted MY plan.
But Samuel replied,
“What is more pleasing to the Lord:
your burnt offerings and sacrifices
or your obedience to his voice?
Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice,
and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.” ~ 1 Samuel 15:22
“We can make our own plans,
but the Lord gives the right answer.
2 People may be pure in their own eyes,
but the Lord examines their motives.
3 Commit your actions to the Lord,
and your plans will succeed.” ~ Proverbs 16:1-3