I am on a special diet at the moment. My motivation for keeping on track with it is great. I am not doing it merely to lose weight, to strain at looking great or to get fit fast. I am doing it for my health. It is the key to alleviating my fatigue and relieving my body from the unnecessary symptoms of food allergies.
Sometimes the restrictions feel like a real pain. I thought that after this long of avoiding dairy, grains and sugar I would have settled into this new life style; qualms about appetite and the means of available to satiate it would be a distant memory. I hoped the deal would be sealed and I would be a thoroughly enriched convert.
But, lately I’ve slipped. At first it was just an ice cream desert that I indulged myself with after a particularly trying week. It felt good. After losing family, it felt good to sort of live it up for the moment with my remaining family. We’ve grown closer, I think, through these recent goodbyes, so for the night I determined to enjoy it to the full as I said goodbye to my list of foods to avoid.
It was supposed to be just for that one time — after all, it wouldn’t hurt my overall goal or set me back in any way. I wasn’t being weak in choosing to enjoy this, I altered my course with conviction (and dare I say courage?). Well, that was Wednesday. On Thursday, I “nibbled” at a bit of toffee before taking a rare trip with my girlfriends where I enjoyed yet another ice cream delight. (Still not bad, I think — this is another very special occasion that I would like to enjoy to the fullest.)
Why it couldn’t stop with that I’ll never know. Friday was a dinner commemorating another unusual occasion, and since I love and never get to sample Asian buffets, I was not too concerned about insuring that I stringently passed by the sugary-sauce covered entrees in search of acceptable food that might not even exist on the premises.
I was eating meat — which I can always use more of, considering how I live on fruit, nuts and the occasional vegetable — so I focused on the main thing and didn’t get upset about the menacing drizzle it was packaged in. Saturday I had more of the same at a picnic-reunion with the last 6 days following in the surprisingly predicable arrangement I have already described.
What happened to my diet? These adverse reactions have been getting worse and I’m to the point that I am ready to quit. Not the diet, but this pattern of deviating from it. I recall how good it felt not eat foods that didn’t hurt me; foods that seemed too mundane (unable to compete with all the delicacies of processed foods that I was missing) are actually quite appealing now.
After all, what fault can I find with them? They serve their purpose and they satisfy the cravings for physical nourishment that they are designed to satisfy. And dull they no longer seem. There is nothing more undesirable than feeling dull because you have tried to avoid dull food. Cheese chains me up, deserts depress me and grains goad me on to ill-health.
I must avoid these things. They may have seemed pleasurable before, but now the pain they deliver is impossible to dismiss. I don’t need this dietary freedom so much as I need to be free in health. Wellness — real wellness that gets at the whole being and knows nothing of partiality — is no stranger to sacrifice; rather, it welcomes what will best suit us for living.
It is certainly not easy to do this. Any time we choose to have the best and enjoy only the select privileges of living our whole being will reject it with whatever powers it has. Our bodies will scream for laziness, our brains will instruct us to slumber and our souls will implore we reconsider our effortless lifestyle and how well it served us.
I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of how well my effortless lifestyle has served me! It has served me so well that I have forgotten the rewards of sacrifice, commitment and diligence. I want to be constantly in mind of where I’m going and what will greet me at the end. I don’t want to fail to weigh my options in the scale and live beyond expedience.
I want to be well, not just well-intentioned. I want to be healthy, not just fueled by a healthy dose of easy-to-come-by habits. I want to be healed of my present health-hazards, not just aware of what could eliminate them. I want to be full of knowledge and responsible with that knowledge. I don’t want my choices to only be a treat in the moment.
I can have more in my life. I can have what wholesome treats and treasures have already been set aside for me. I can trade in my trivialities for far fitter trophies. And I don’t have to be limited to my health. I can have the best in everything — so long as I seek it in the right place.
God’s Word and His laws are the only place that I can confidently submit my soul to ways that will bring me fullness and abundance in all manner of living. This may sound like a strange thing to you, but don’t dismiss it without some investigation. If the claim is significant, ought our treatment of it be significant?
One thing I love about the Word of God is that though it is beautiful and beneficial, it is also very blunt. All the beauty of its poetry and prose would produce no visible benefit in my life if I could not comprehend it and construct myself within it. But in this way it is simple — it clearly illustrates my realities and points to where I belong in relation to them.
The law of God enables our hearts to stand in awe of and rejoice in God unlike anything else. But we are able to rejoice in Him because we realize who He is what our relationship is to Him. The law also shows us what we can expect of God and why. His character cannot be unknown if we know His law.
And when we understand God according to what His Word reveals to us about Him, we will understand the core construction of the answers to our greatest questions. God is not meant to be an off-shoot of our imaginations, but the cause behind them. He is the One in Whom we live, move and have our being — He is the one that forms the center of our lives.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be ignorant about life; I don’t want to miss the main point, the great success, the ultimate satisfaction in living; I want to know that my living has a purpose and just how pure and pleasing that purpose can be. I feel my ignorance and the complications of malnourishment. I need real food!
So, I go to His Word to meet God and find what I have been missing. There is no fear or doubting, I know what God has for me in those pages. He wants me to know Him and hear Him and love Him and be at ease with Him. Therefore He treats me to instruction that springs into my soul and cries, “Wake up! There’s so much for you to see!”