Resolutions just might be my favorite part of the New Year celebration. A set date every year to write a new chapter--a yearly invitation to always learn and always grow? I'll take it! The monthly resolution idea came about because I have a problem with choosing too many resolutions. More of the good, less of the bad, all to improve my life in physical and material ways.
Problem is: Resolutions don't always last. Shocker, right? I don't have stats to back it up, but I'm pretty sure very few resolutions are kept for an entire 12 months.
Here's my guess at a reason: Resolutions attempt to add more to our already full lives. Where we're already overspent on time, money, energy and internal resources, we're trying to spend more. It's good for us, so it should fit--right? Exercise to make us in shape, better diet to make us healthy, more time with friends to make us happier.
But it doesn't fit. Our lives are full and there's no room for anything else. No, not even room for positive change. UNTIL we empty something out. It's like the minimalists' one-in, one-out rule but for our lives. You have to give something up before you can add something in.
What I'm talking about is a fast of sorts--choosing something to let go of or do without. But instead of doing it so we can rush to fill something else in its place, what if we took a fast with no agenda? Simply letting go of something to allow its absence to speak to us. Or rather, allow God to speak to us through its absence.
Fasting--whether it be from food, a hobby, a tradition, technology, or any number of possibilities--makes us more open, available, and aware of God speaking into our life. It helps us refocus our priorities, makes us see things we couldn't see before, and frees our resources to live a more fulfilling and purposeful life--one that might (according to Isaiah 58, should) even lead us to live beyond ourselves.
That's basically what Jen did for her book 7. She took seven monthly fasts related to things like food and spending. And she made it epic. (That's what Daniel accuses of me of doing when I want to try a life experiment... making it epic.)
For her food fast, she chose only seven foods she could eat for the month. This wasn't supposed to become a new diet or be particularly healthy. It was supposed to reset her paradigm about food, and ultimately so much more. Even more than focusing on the role of food for good or bad in her life, a break from what is normal helped her to reevaluate the food issue around the world.
Each of her fasts made her more open for, aware of, and available to God speaking into her life.
7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess (affiliate link; see full note below*). I read it the beginning of last year and it challenged me and impacted my life.
Now, I'm ready to give it away.
Next week, I will be giving away my copy of 7 to one of you dear readers!
Until then, I encourage you to think about something you could give up--a fast you could do to start off this year with intention, purpose, focus, and action.
And perhaps make room for the truly important things these next 12 months.
Happy New Year!
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*Note: Affiliate link used. Any purchases through this link could earn me a small commission with no extra cost to you. Thank you!