"It really got the best of me today and I just felt mentally and emotionally tired with no reward of weight loss."
It stung a little when that line popped onto the screen. It's a very honest statement but one I'm not excited to admit still belongs to me after all this time. I tucked it away into a corner in my mind but it has continued to resurface all week, bringing along with it cinnamon rolls and peanut M&Ms...
Last night I attended a concert at my church. The performance was given by a group of children from an African village called Watoto. This is an organization in Africa that rescues vulnerable and marginalized women and children and puts them together in families. The children are taught about Jesus and raised to be leaders of Africa's next generation. It's truly an unbelievable thing they are doing.
During the performance a video depicting the everyday life of these children was shown. At one point the camera panned into a well pump dripping tiny drops of water. The narrator was describing the daily, endless cycle of walking and pumping, walking and pumping for these children--this is their life--just to get that water. And it wasn't much water coming out.
But I don't feel sorry for them. No, I surely do not. These children, these families, are full of joy. Perhaps greater joy than I've ever seen. Certainly a different kind of joy than I've ever seen. Their joy doesn't come from getting water. Their joy is in Christ alone. That is why even though these people may have been mutilated, forced to take the life of a family member, ripped away from their families, lost parents to AIDS, or walk the majority of any given day just to get the water they need to survive, they remain joyful. They find their purpose not in the things of this world, but in the Everlasting God.
When I saw the water dripping from the well I immediately knew why that particular statement about the small weight loss on Sunday had been haunting me. Here I am, toiling all week long, getting to the well, only getting that little drip--and then I'm furious. I am entitled to more water, no? No. I am entitled to nothing. The breath that I am about to take is a gift. The ability to walk, eat, measure things, share this with other people--all a gift. Grace, grace, God's grace. I am entitled to nothing.
It can be really hard to explain what goes on in one's relationship with the Lord to others. These particular writings are are a reflection of my personal convictions and the Spirit's prompting in my life. This is in no way a suggestion for others. Sometimes it seems like it would be best kept private, because it's just easier that way and perhaps that is how He intends it to be in certain instances. But for this particular matter, given this particular setting, I can't really figure out how to keep it private. So here goes...
I think what is about to happen is that I'm going to put the scale away. Possibly for good. I can't believe I am writing this. I hesitate so much in writing this. Because I might be wrong? Because someone may think it's silly? Because it is in direct opposition to things I've thought/written in the past? Because writing it means it's real? Yes.
I realize this is not a new concept. I have put the scale up before as have many others. When I did this before, I quickly realized that it was just a cop-out. But this current choice is being prompted by something different than it has been in the past. It's not because I'm afraid of what I'll weigh this week. It's not because I'd like to eat whatever I want for a few weeks without being bothered by the scale. It's the opposite. It's because I truly want to walk in freedom and this is the thing that has been identified to me as the major area of bondage. (Not coffee creamer. Duh.)
It is scary to me to think of not weighing every week. Very. Scary. But I will trust that this is His plan. And maybe I'm WAY off. Lord knows that's happened before. I could be back on the scale next week. But I don't think so. It seems like the Lord is really refining this whole process and taking me deeper and deeper into the heart of the matter. I have never lived "healthfully" and not been simultaneously tied to the scale. What will this be like?
What it seems He is asking me to do is to stop living week-to-week when I am not promised the next hour. Stop being a slave to these weekly weigh-ins. I believe that He is asking me to continue taking care of my body, continue walking in the path of life (as He has shown me), continue dealing with my emotions...but in His presence, in His way. Not mine and not the world's.
I know He wants me to stop living as if weight loss is my life-water.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1) What I've always wanted is freedom. What I've been praying for earnestly is freedom. And I know He wants it for me, too. That's why Jesus came. And so It will be. I believe that truth and claim it.
What is coming to my mind as I finish up this post is a C.S. Lewis quote that has always been dear to me, and today more than ever: "If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair."
And then my life verses:John 8:31-32 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
So, what does all this mean in simple terms?
- I will continue to post my tracker daily
- I will continue to exercise
- I will continue to set goals
- I will continue to blog regularly
- The time and energy I spend thinking about what the scale shows will now be directed to other matters
- My actions will not be affected by the scale
- I will abide in His word.
Going down the road less traveled...