Fasting Is More Important Than My To Do Lists

September 25, 2012 at 2:02 PM

“If your life feels empty and mechanical, then don’t wait until everything is crossed off your list of To Does before fasting.”

I Just moved and  have three To Do Lists. 

  •     Change of Address to Do List
  •     Business to Do List
  •     New Apartment to Do List


Actually, I have 2 Business To Do Lists: one, sort-term involving the rest of this year, and the other is a three year business plan. Also have a list of To Do’s at work, but I won’t include that. These lists are a little like demanding children, competing for my time and attention, and by nature, I’m a responsible father and take my lists seriously. But there can be a spiritual price to be paid when the day is almost all about accomplishing. Life becomes mechanical, over time the doing drains of meaningfulness. Ever felt that? The lists become task-masters, and life slowly empties of joy and spiritual purpose. 

After the last three weeks of unpacking, washing, organizing and hanging, I wonder if I should not have found the box my juicer was packed in, located my knife, cutting board, bible and laptop, left the stack of boxes, cleared a spot on my sofa, and unpacked my cluttered mind with a week of prayer and fasting, instead of looking for peace in an orderly home. Think that’s an unpractical idea? Well, take a minute and read the Mary/Martha story.  In fact let me just throw it in here right now. 

"As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.  But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things,  but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

 Luke 10: 38-42

If I left the lists for a week of fasting, then I could have enjoyed fulfilling my To Does much more. 

 A little self-honesty here.  I know when I should put my lists aside and invest awhile in prayer and fasting—I know it like I know when a cold is coming on.  But I don’t. I put it off, and put it off longer, make a mental note that I should fast, and put off even longer, until, finally my productivity gets compromised. Why put something off that’s clearly so important? Well, the answer is the same as why people eat junk food when they know it’s bad for them, or put off losing weight when they know it’s killing them. Laziness. 

That’s right. ME, the guy who moves mountains in a day, is lazy. 

Think about it. It’s easy to do what comes naturally, (even if that’s hard work), and a challenge to do what does not come instinctively.  By nature, I’m a Martha. You can be sure that after Jesus ascended to heaven, she regretted not spending more time doing exactly what she was scolding Mary for doing. 

Everything is richer, fuller when we are in tune with God. If your life feels empty and mechanical, then don’t wait until everything is crossed off your list of To Does before fasting. Put fasting on top of the list, because it’s my experience that the only time the list is done is when your life on earth is over. When doing dishes is no longer joyful, leave them in the sink and sit at Jesus feet. 

Posted in: Fasting


Comments (4) -

Canada Robert Brousson says:

Its a such a good point!


Canada Tanya Desjardins says:

We are not always promised tomorrow... So, while I totally agree that spending time with Jesus is essential, so to is spending precious time with the ones we love & with whom love us. To-do lists can wait, they can not.


Great post!  Thank you for the inspiration!


I strumbled across your blog as I'm on 40 day fast journey and so thankful that I did. This journey has help to reconnect me with God and unclutter my mind and your articles has confirmed so many things that I am experiencing. Thanks for sharing, I'm glad I found this site.


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