Master, Mold Me

    

     I am a co-teacher for Wesleyan Community Church’s teen Sunday School class. I love working with teens. They are at an age where many concepts are still new and fresh and they have a lot of ideas and thoughts to share. This week as I was preparing for our lesson I was surprised to see that the author (Laurie Polich) had used dieting as an analogy for starting the life of righteousness upon accepting salvation.

   “It’s kind of like starting a new diet. At first you crave the stuff you used to eat; but after a while, you develop new cravings and you actually start liking food that’s good for you. Soon you don’t even miss the old food. Because you’re eating the food your body needs to work best.”

     As I thought about this I couldn’t help but recognize how true it was in my own life on both the dieter and salvation level. The more I allowed myself to be filled with what is healthy the more I desired and craved the healthy things I needed.

     When I was in my teens I went from eating a very unhealthy diet to a very strict one of few calories, no sugar, and very little fat or sodium. I remember taking a bit of corn cooked by my grandmother whose country cooking I had alway loved, and barely being able to swallow it. My body would no longer bear the lard and salt that used to be what made the meal taste good to me. My tastes had changed and my body rejected these foreign flavors. I also remember about that time watching a woman in the grocery store checking out a package of eclairs and feeling ill. Just thinking about the overly sweet greasy substance in the middle litterally repulsed me. These weren’t moments of snobber. My body had begun to want the healthy things it had become accustom to instead of the old things it no longer got.

     I am not back to this point yet, however. My eating habits are so much better than they were a couple of year ago but I still like the taste of a little sugar in tea and I would be very sad not to have salt on my veggies. I am not a purist yet. However, over the past week with the greater reduction in calories it hadn’t been cheeseburgers and cheesecake I had wanted, either. It was another helping of yogurt with granola or oatmeal with dried fruit and nuts.

     My soul craves healthy “food” too, the fellowship of my brother and sister believers and the truth of God’s word. Thank you God for making me in a way that I can learn to hunger for what you meant for me to have and give me the desire to do so more completely.

     Likewise, as I think about it, I know people who are “carnal Christians” and “social dieters” – and have been each of these in my own past. These people associate themselves with groups going by the term “Christian” or “Dieter” and often talk the talk but seem to always have one foot in the new life and one in the old. These are the folks who go to church but still participate in a life of sin throughout the week or the folks who talk about losing weight but still try to eat the way they always have and avoid exercise. These would be the folks who make some changes, with great pain, and usually for a brief season. These are folks who have found part of an answer but who have not experienced a life change. What makes the difference between the dramatic life changes and the lives filled with struggle?

     “What is your Master” was the topic of today’s Sunday School lesson and I guess that would be the answer. Are you living trying to make changes in yourself or have you really changed who and what controls your life. I gotta tell you, even as a Christian with a deep love for Christ I have to stay very mindful to keep putting Christ back on the throne of my life. I have a very “take charge” personality and it is all too easy for me to get busy controlling my own circumstances instead of remembering to give it all to him and wait for answers.

     Likewise, I have to stay mindful not to let food rule me. Wheather in my times of gluttony or diet (and there have been seasons of both throughout my life, even a period of rather serious eating disorder in my teens). It is easy to let my love for food, my fear of food, my desire for food, or my focus on control of food become the center of my life. Thus, even in this the answer becomes making sure I have the right King on the throne. Wheather giving in or abstaining, if food is consuming my thoughts, it is my god. For me my faith and my struggles are inseparable. I will only succeed where I give God control. Thank you, Lord, for yet another reminder of that this morning. Please keep me ever focused on you and the freedom you give to live a righteous and healthy life. Teach me your precepts that I might be disciplined and of use to you and your kingdom! May even my weight loss be a testimony to your power and your faithfulness, for with you all things are possible, even a 230 pound woman with no energy finding a fun and full life of activity and adventure! The 75 pound weight loss is a miracle to me and I am grateful that God has given me the energy, the wisdom, and the will to make the journey.

Click the picture above for the song “You Gotta Serve Somebody” written by Bob Dylan and performed by Shirley Caesar

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