Recollect, Refocus, Realign - Kelvin Beachum

Every year in July, before training camp begins, I get away and alone with God. I use this time to fast and pray — to seek God with no distractions. This was my third consecutive year fasting (I did it before becoming engaged, and then again before getting married) and this year’s fast was the hardest one to date, by far. 

This year I added 10 more hours to my three-night fast, going from Thursday at 12 p.m. to Sunday at 2 p.m. Why did I increase it by 10 hours? I felt the need to give more. As I’m going through this Christian journey — growing my family and praying for things on the field — I’m seeking for God to do more, so it only seemed appropriate that I should give more to Him. This was the longest fast I’d ever done, but it was also the most productive for my heart and mind. There was a lot of listening and a lot of reading of God’s Word that had to occur. Everyone needs a time of testing — this was mine. 

As he does each year at that time, my dad dropped me off at my grandfather’s church with a jug of water, a few bottles of sparkling water and an air mattress. I leave behind my phone, my computer and any other way of contacting any human form so that I can completely submerge myself in the presence of God.

The purpose of this fast and time alone is for realignment with Christ. It’s not as if I’ve lost my way, but we all need a time of realignment. It’s like herding cattle — you need to get them all in line and heading exactly where you want them to go. When I take time to refocus my relationship with Christ, I see how devoted and consistent I am toward Him. 

In football, we talk about consistency so much — be the same guy every day, be someone who can be counted on, someone who’s reliable. Every single day, we see God be consistent in our lives; we can always count on Him. But can Jesus count on me? Can He testify that I’m consistent, reliable and devoted in my walk with Him? No matter what obstacles may stand in my way — including my daughter waking up at 4 a.m. demanding to be fed — nothing can trump my time with God.

By fasting before God, I can better discern what His will is for my life. It’s not as if I always hear His audible voice, but when I get in the Word, I’m allowing Him to convict me and show me ways in which I can be doing better — having better discipline, becoming a better evangelist, becoming better at drawing others to Him. I literally sit, read, pray and sleep. Sit, read, pray and sleep. I repeat this over and over until I’m done. 

By listening to His Word as it speaks to my heart, I’m able to recollect what He’s done in my life, refocus on what He’s doing, and realign my heart to prepare for what He’s about to do. 

— Kelvin Beachum, New York Jets left tackle

Kelvin Beachum is a regular contributor to The Increase and provides monthly articles and opinions. Check out Kelvin’s Increase profile here: https://theincrease.com/author/kelvin-beachum/

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