Like many women, I've struggled with my weight for most of my adult life. I have successfully lost weight, only to see most of it creep back on. The thing of it is, I know how to lose weight. It's not brain surgery. Eat healthy foods. Watch your portions. Exercise. As long as you do those things, most people are going to lose weight.
If only it wasn't so easy to eat the wrong things or too much of them. If only it wasn't easier to sit in front of the TV (or computer) instead of go to the gym, ride the bike, or get out and run. If only chocolate shakes didn't taste so darn good that you forget the fact that a 32-ounce one from McDonald's is about 1600 calories. We know what to do, but it's so very easy to make the wrong choices...and they feel/taste so good while we're making them. It's only after you see the results on the scale or leave the table feeling overfull that sense returns.
As I've been reading the Bible and various books and blogs on Christian living, it has hit me how very much the struggle to live a Godly life mirrors my struggle to achieve a healthy body. We know what to do. The Bible tells us. I have been struck, over and over again, by how much better our lives would be if we followed God's guidelines faithfully. How much more peace and happiness in our lives. How much better we could make the world for others. How wonderful would our world be if the majority of people were actively engaged in building God's kingdom instead of our own little fiefdoms.
Just as I know I should lay off the potato chips, I know I need to avoid gossip. I need to hold my temper. I have more faults and weaknesses than there are dangerous snack foods, and if I could just keep away from them my heart and soul would be so much healthier. Just as I know that regular exercise will strengthen my body and make me look and feel better I also know that regular prayer and reading of the Bible will strengthen my obedience and make me look for God in others and feel closer to Him. And yet...it is so much easier to sleep in that extra 30 minutes every morning rather than take that time to visit with God. Just as we're surrounded by fast food restaurants and sedentary entertainment, we're also bombarded with worldly messages that make dishonesty, disrespect, and infidelity look inevitable, if not acceptable or even desirable.
I've seen the benefits of regular exercise and healthy eating. I've looked and felt better. I've been happier when I look in the mirror and go clothes shopping. If these largely superficial things can be so rewarding, how much more rewarding would it be to live on a diet of God and regular exercise of obedience to His commands? More and more, I want to know.