So….I got a little behind this week.  For those of you that know me or follow me on here, that is no real shocker.  Not only do I tend to take on more than I can handle, but in our business there is rarely a time when there isn’t something unexpected happening, something that sucks up more time than I thought AND I am not exactly the most organized person.

Alas, I will try to do better.

As a consequence of that, the guest post I promised last Friday will actually happen this Friday and you will get my ramblings on this fine day.

I know you feel lucky.

Here we go.

I recently began reading “Revolution in World Missions” by K.P. Yohannan.  Mr. Yohannan is a pastor who grew up in India and has since traveled to Europe, America and then back to India to lead a missions group he created called Gospel for Asia. This isn’t a book that came highly recommended or that I have been dying to read, I just picked it up because it was free and I wasn’t really reading anything else at the time.

But, it has really created some uneasiness in my soul.

There is a part, not necessarily a line, but more like a page, that I cannot get out of my mind.  On that page, Mr. Yohannan talks about coming to America.  Growing up in a country where practicing or professing Christianity is illegal and many live in utter poverty, going without meals for days, he knew that in America he would find vibrant churches, filled with people of great faith and generosity.  He believed that our freedom and our wealth would lead to unsurpassed gratefulness and a burning desire to give back to the one from whom all blessings come, that our faith would blow him away.

But. that is not what he found at all.  He found few people willing to give or take risk for their faith and churches filled with people who take their opportunity, their blessings, and their freedom for granted.

It’s as if all the stuff we have, all the blessings, all the opportunities actually distract us from the real meaning, the real love, the real truth of Christ.  Instead of depending on God, instead of having faith in His strength and His wisdom, we have faith and trust in our money, our things, our options.

Hmmmm…..I know this isn’t true of all Americans, but I know it is true for this American.

It is very, very easy for me to grow complacent. How many times do I hope for more money so that I will feel secure?  How many times am I not obedient to God’s word because there are just so many options and opportunities in front of me?  Instead of spending my days trying to figure out how to best serve others, I spend my days trying to decide how to best take care of me and my own.  Do I want to buy this dress or that dress for me?  How will I fit my workout in, my hair appointment, my girls night out?  We just got a raise, should we spend it on a new house or a new car or maybe a personal trainer?  Maybe I should get my teeth whitened, my nails done, plan a vacation, update the house, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Over the last few weeks as I have read resolution after resolution on Facebook, I wonder if most of us, myself included, aren’t missing the whole point or at least the main point?  Like many of you, I have mentally set many little resolutions, hoped for many things, and have many goals.    There are things I want, things I think would be fun, or might be beneficial for me, but that’s not really what I am here for.  And if you are a fellow follower, that is not what you are here for either.

This week as 2015 gets underway, I am taking a step back.  I am scrapping all my previous resolutions in an effort to focus in on only the most important resolution.  Life can seem so complicated, but in reality it is not.  Christ was very clear about his top two commandments.

Love God and love others as yourself.  That is number one and number 2.

Am I really doing this?  How can I better serve Christ in the following year?  Can I step back and accept His will, his plan above mine?  And how do I better love others?

Now, there comes another question, how does one figure these things out?  How can I best hear the voice of God in a really noisy, confusing, some times disappointing world?

Well, I am quite certain I don’t hold all the answers for that question and there is never any guarantee, but I am going to do a fast.  Fasting seems like a  fairly under utilized tool in a Christian’s tool belt, but it also seems that those of great faith, including Christ himself, did it and do it regularly.

I did one last year in January and think I will likely try to do this at the beginning of every year.  I do a Daniel fast, which is abstaining from meat, liquor, bread and sweets, but really a fast can be any time you abstain from something in order to grow closer to God.  So, the key here is not that I am withholding different kinds of food.  This is certainly not a diet, but a time to pray more and avoid some of the distractions of this world to better focus on and listen for God.

We all have but one life to live.  It is really easy for me to look at this life and think “how am I going to make the most of life?  How am I going to be better, achieve more, experience more?” And, maybe those are good questions.

But, are they the best questions.  Will they lead to the best resolutions?

The best question is “God, how can I be of the most service to you no matter where it leads me?”

May your 2015 and every year after be one of continual focus on the things that really matter……Ask big questions.  Don’t ask just good questions.  Ask the best question.

***If you have questions about fasting, this is a pretty good article that goes into more detail.

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