"A fasting investment will result in improved health, increased energy and focused living, paying a time-dividend in years of productivity."
In talking to busy parents, business owners, and overworked pastors, the most common protest I hear against the idea of fasting is, “I would love to fast but I simply don’t have the time.” Well, think again. Slowing down your life long enough to invest in a fast will pay off 100-fold by adding years of high-quality, productive time to your life. Here are three simple reasons why fasting is a smart time investment for your future, whether you are trying to run a household, business, church, or all three at once.
Fasting Protects From Making Time-wasting Bad Choices
The fasting mindset is the most difficult to embrace for people like me who measure the value of a day by how much was crossed off the list of To Does. The beauty of fasting is it is more about being
, but when life has gone into permanent overdrive it can be very hard to change gears and simply slow down and be still. But it is in this stillness that you are given a unique window of opportunity to step back and take stock of your daily doing
. The longer you go between these “taking stock” times the easier it is for your doing to become automated, even disconnected from your dreams and God given destiny. When there is a disconnection between your dreams and your daily routine, the result will be a profound feeling of emptiness and dissatisfaction in your life. This is a ticking time bomb for all types of disorders, both physical and spiritual. Disconnection is one of the root reasons people overeat; they are trying to gorge away an emptiness that cannot be filled with any amount of food.
Being disconnected from our dreams and goals will result in making time-wasting choices. Decisions made in haste are often reaction-based, and will be far less effective than choices made with thought and prayer. Therefore, even though busy people feel as though they do not have time to slow down and go deep, the very opposite is true. If you are like me—a highly driven person—you can’t afford not to take this time on a regular basis. Think of it as cleaning out the time-clutter of choiceless actions that can so quickly accumulate in our daily doing. Dysfunctional relationships, saying yes when you should be saying no, committing to time-wasting obligations, and even addictive behaviors, can latch on like parasites because you are too busy to notice them. You see it all the time in your friends. How many people are wasting years of their lives on useless endeavors or dysfunctional relationships because they didn't stop long enough to ask the hard questions? They raced ahead and lived according to their emotions.
Slowing down during a fast and going deep on yourself is a perfect way to guard your life from time-robbing clutter, resulting in a renewed focus, and in reconciling actions with your goals and dreams but, even more important, with your God-given destiny. The result will be a wonderful feeling of deep satisfaction.
I need to keep reminding myself that even though reducing the work output of a few weeks, once the fast is done, I will be more connected to what I am doing in the first place. Being more connected helps me avoid getting off track, which is a big time waster. It's in the stillness that we reconnect again to our spiritual selves, which is the part of us that is connected to God.
Being Sick Takes Time
At the age of 30, before my first fast, I maxed out my twenty-three sick days every year. After my thirty-day fast, four years would go by without using a single sick day. I sailed through my co-workers’ colds and flus with ease. A thirty-day fasting investment paid off in hundreds of sick days, and who knows what else.
As I got older, I noticed that the people around me talked a lot about doctors’ appointments, hospital waiting rooms, and worrying over test results. Many of them were obese, out of shape, and obviously living on a meat and processed carbs diet. These are the same people who tell me they do not have time to fast or eat healthily. Yet, I find that investing in your health will free up time to do the things you love instead of lying in bed sick or sitting in the hospital waiting room.
Greater Energy Means Increased Productivity
You cannot increase the hours in a day but, if you are able to get more done in an hour because of increased energy and vitality, it will free up time for the fun stuff you dream about doing. Better still, good health increases your level of enjoyment as well as productivity. The day is brighter when you feel good, whether working or playing.
Next time you’re considering fasting but think you do not have the time, remember: making wise choices, having less down time in the form of sickness, and enjoying increased energy, will give back years of high-quality, productive time, with the added bonus of feeling good,body, soul, and spirit.
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