This month has been difficult to navigate. No matter your political ideology, 2021 has already been a year of challenges. It’s been one of uncertainty. For some, it’s been devastating. For others, it’s been hopeful. I don’t know about you, but I have felt completely overwhelmed by the bombarding updates from the news and social media. These days, I’ve reached for my phone a little less, because I can’t hold one more thing.
A few years ago, I heard an author talk about seasons of fasting and feasting in our lives. In some seasons, we feast—gorging ourselves on food or social media or entertainment. We sit at the table and consume the good and bad and everything in between. But when the pain of our overfilled bellies becomes too much, we fast.
We feast, and we fast.
We eliminate and cut out. We hold back.
And I think this is true. I’ve seen it in my own life and in those around me. We feast, and we fast. January—for me—has been about forcing the pendulum to swing from feasting to fasting.
Because I can’t hold anymore.
The good things are pushing out the right things.
The bad things are rotting my entire being.
I’ve been feasting too long.
It’s Time to Realign
Many people reflect and reset, set goals and mark change at the new year. For me, January looks like realigning—intentionally saying no to good things because they’re not the right things.
And I don’t think I’m the only one who needs this realignment.
Noise dominates our lives, and we’re exhausted from it. Work and running to-do lists and big decisions hang in the air. Social media, the news, Netflix, become background noise because the silence feels too heavy. In the quiet, the weight of this world and the problems we face scream.
Excess spills out of our days—food and entertainment and distractions. We feast on social media or the news or TikTok or carbs or comfort food. Our bodies forget how to breathe deeply because our chests are weighted down by excess.
Anger, defensiveness, paranoia, or skepticism mark our interactions. Even as someone who is optimistic, I have found myself quicker to frustration, quicker to defensiveness, quicker to anger. Alone, these things aren’t bad, right? Even Jesus got angry. Whip in hand, He cleared the temple of thieves and corruption. Today, it seems more people are feasting on anger, resentment, dehumanization, and cynicism, and the Church is not exempt from it. Maybe we’ve forgotten the words in James 1:19-21.
Understand this, dear brothers and sisters. You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.
We can’t keep feasting. We can’t keep gorging my body on noise and distraction and anger and excess. There is another way, and it saves souls.
What Realigning Means
Now let me be clear. Realigning doesn’t mean ignoring the very real challenges we face. It doesn’t diminish the urgency we carry to right what has been wronged. The Lord calls and equips us to be reconcilers, and entering a season of fasting doesn’t mean that we abandon this charge. It doesn’t mean turning a blind eye to injustice.
Realignment—for me—looks like pivoting. It means recognizing where idols have taken over. And it looks like “looking away from the natural realm and fastening my gaze onto Jesus who birthed faith within us and who leads us forward into faith’s perfection.” (Hebrews 12:2 TPT)
Realigning looks like pivoting.
Can I be honest? Realigning looks a lot like trying and failing and trying again. I’m nowhere near perfect. I struggle and mess up every day. And it’s in those moments that Jesus’ grace completely overwhelms me. Each morning He has reminded me of that His mercy, grace, and love are new.
So friend, how do you need to realign yourself? What has captivated your heart’s affection for too long? What do you need to fast from? Where do you need more silence? Where do you need more of Jesus?
We all go through seasons of feasting. It’s part of being human, and sometimes these feasts are true gifts. But I believe the Father wants to call us into a season of fasting and realigning. Because until we lock eyes with Jesus, we will feast yet starve our soul of what its true needs.
So may we be honest with ourselves. May we recognize the areas of feasting that we need to fast from.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. Let us realign.