Monday, August 23, 2010

Eat, Love, Gain

I came to the realization 3 weeks ago that I had gained some weight over the summer. That realization came pretty easy as my pants were feeling more snug and my belly was getting sore from hanging over my belt just a bit. I stopped tucking in my shirt, becuase it just felt a little too tight! I could trace back where it all started. I guess you could say I "let it go" for the week leading up to our big trip in July...after all, I needed to carbo-load to get ready for our big Grand Canyon hike, right! And then I was on vacation after the hike so I ate what I wanted. Then we had home group where everyone brought desserts. Then we started eating out a few more times...Soon, the weeks of eating what I wanted turned into a month. I was jogging about once or twice a week, slowing down a bit from my regular routine. The realization hit when I stood on the scales one morning and saw the 13 pound swing in my weight. "Aw crud!" I thought.

At that moment I recognized I was at a crossroads: Do I continue with the recent pattern of being slack, or do I buckle down and set my course straight before it gets out of hand?

Admittedly, every other time I've gotten to this point in my lifelong battle with weight I have either excused it away, or postponed getting back on the strict diet until it got totally out of hand. This is how one falls off the wagon.

This battle is just like our fight against sin. You slack up on the little things. You eat ice cream here and there. You indulge in a big burger and fries one day and then start craving it again soon. Before long you are sneaking a snack every now and then when no one is looking...and you slowly fall off the wagon. Most failures aren't cliff drops, they are baby steps. The culmination of those baby steps results in being a few degrees off-course. With the right perspective you can trace the trajectory of where those actions are headed. At that point of perspective you have to I going to continue this slow slide, or do I, as the great philosopher Barney Fife so aptly stated, "Nip it! Nip it in the bud!"?

James 1:14-15 tells us about sin, "(B)ut each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death." I preached on David and Bathsheba a few weeks ago and referenced this progression found in James. If we can catch ourselves at the point of temptation, or desire, we can keep from allowing ourselves to fall into sin. Desire breeds sin in our lives. My ice cream temptation is no different than your porn issue, or your alcohol problem, or your struggle with gossip. Whatever you struggle with--when the desire hits, recognize it, think about where it will take you, and run away!

For the first time in my life, when at this crossroads, I made the right choice a few weeks ago. I buckled down and went back on the strict phase of the South Beach Diet. So far I've lost back 10 pounds of the weight I gained. I've been running between 17-20 miles each week for the past 3 weeks. I'm back on track, and it feels good. I'm so glad that I buckled down and took care of my problem instead of excusing it away and letting it get worse.

My prayer for you in whatever battle you face, is that God gives you the strength to stop the downgrades before they become landslides. Let's press on together and defeat the sins that drag us down!