I’m on it. I had oatmeal for breakfast today and yesterday, and before that, I walked on the treadmill for 30 minutes. The scale motivated me – scary – that’s the word. If I had kept better records in the last 6 weeks, I might have been in contention for a world record in speed of gaining weight. If that’s not in Guinness, it ought to be, so…as I said, I’m on it: I want to do the world record in the opposite direction.
Oh, Thanksgiving and Christmas were fine, just fine. Turkey and gravy and mashed potatoes, then eggnog (not the low fat variety, mind you, after all, we only drink it once a year) and sugar cookies and Diane’s delicious fudge and more tasty meals. Salt sugar fat. There’s a book out by that title and it’s probably right up my alley.
A fast-increasing number on the scale – surely an important matter, but this morning I was reminded of an even greater concern. I was reading Scotty Smith’s Everyday Prayers, and the prayer today was entitled, “A Prayer about Flabby Hearts and Love Handles,” motivated by a long wait at his gym in early January for his favorite elliptical machine:
“Once again, scores of us seem ready to leave the sugar/ butter/ carbohydrate binge of the past six weeks for the purge of exercise and sweat…Yet I’ve never been more aware that spiritual formation based on the “binge and purge” cycle simply doesn’t work. Our spiritual hearts need to be strengthened by the grace of the gospel daily, all year long. We cannot afford periods of ‘cruise control,’ when we leave the banquet of your love for a buffet of comfort foods, fast foods, and junk foods. Just like the physical hearts you’ve given us, our spiritual heart muscles will atrophy if we don’t take care of them…By the convicting work of your Holy Spirit, let us be far more concerned about flabby, graceless hearts than bigger love handles.”
Amen. So, walking the treadmill is important, and pushing back from the table is crucial; but as the writer of Hebrews reminds us, “It is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace.” (Hebrews 13:9, ESV) Therefore, in the New Year, may we be a people who daily dive into the Ocean of God’s Word not so we may say we read it, but because we want to meditate on His love. And in the New Year, let’s be people who depend daily on Him through prayer, knowing that any other kind of life is a life foolishly dependent on self; and apart from Him, we can do nothing. And finally, in the New Year, let’s commit to the blessing of corporate worship where we celebrate and meditate on the Cross with other pilgrims who are passing through this world.
These are the things that will lead us to joy and keep us truly alive in 2014.
Happy New Year, everyone.