Day 2: Overweight Physically and Underweight Spiritually
My journey to healthy eating didn’t gain traction by counting calories or obeying rules of the food pyramid. The process began in earnest when I admitted that, yes, I was overweight physically. But, more importantly, I was underweight spiritually. I was spiritually malnourished. Tying these two issues together is what opened my eyes to see God in a whole new way.
I’m reminded of the story in the Bible where a rich young man comes to see Jesus. The young man explains that he is following all the religious rules, but still feels something is missing from his pursuit of God. He asks, “What do I still lack?” Jesus answers, “If you want to be perfect [whole], go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me” (Matthew 19:20 – 21 NIV).
The rich young man then goes away sad because he won’t give up the one thing that consumes him. He is so full with his riches he can’t see how undernourished his soul is. It’s at this point in the biblical story that most of us start to look at all the rich people we know and think, “Well, I sure hope they get this message. Good thing I’m not rich. Good thing Jesus doesn’t ask me to sacrifice in this way.” Or does He?
Jesus meant His comment for any of us who wallow in whatever abundance we have. I imagine Jesus looked straight into this young man’s soul and said, “I want you to give up the one thing that you crave more than Me.”
For me, I was like the rich young man when it came to eating. I refused healthier breakfast options, such as egg whites and fruit, while filling myself with candy-sprinkled doughnuts. I choose soda instead of water, chips instead of carrot sticks. Even when my sugar high crashed and I complained of splitting headaches, sluggishness, and unwanted extra weight, I steadfastly refused to even consider giving up my daily brownie.
God made us capable of craving so that we’d have an unquenchable desire for more of Him, and Him alone. Nothing changes until we make the choice to redirect our misguided cravings to the only One capable of satisfying them.
Paul wrote to Christians, “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better” (Ephesians 1:17 NIV).
I don’t know about you, but to me this one benefit of knowing God better is worth all the effort and sacrifice that a healthy eating journey requires. It’s easy to feel that our struggle with food is such an unfair deal. But I encourage you to see the process today as a path that offers both physical and spiritual benefits.
Copyright 2007 Fellowship for the Performing Arts