Friday, November 20, 2009
I'm sitting in my dining room looking at a painting of Venice, Italy. I was there last November (though I didn't acquire the painting at that time) and, though the painting is set about 150 years before I was there, modern Venice looks much the same. I actually recognize the three cathedrals in the painting as well as some of the other structures.
Being an American the longevity of the Venecian culture is inspiring to me but as I think about it a little more deeply I can't help but coming to the conclusion that all earthly glory fades--eventually. At one time the Italians were so powerful and influential around the world but now their glory has largely faded on the world scene and people visit Italy to see what used to be. They visit it as one would a museum. It is essentially a nation-sized monument to a glory that has faded away.
And all earthly glory is like this. It fades away. It may seem powerful and inspiring and immovable and worth giving ourselves to for a time, but in the end it will fade away just like a flower or a vapor or a blade of grass.
Now, when it comes to the pursuit of health we must be careful and search our hearts well to ensure that we're pursuing it for the right reasons--reasons that will last, reasons whose glory will not fade away. And what would those reasons be? Achieving a particular weight? Being able to fit into a pair of pants or, for the ladies, a dress? Looking good in swimming attire? Fitting in with a certain crowd? Being able to lift a certain weight or complete a certain number of repetitions of a certain exercise? Being able to run or ride or climb fast or long, or to accomplish any athletic goal?
It seems patently obvious to me that the glory of all such things will fade away, and fade away fast. If we're pursuing health to achieve these ends we will be sorely disappointed and our end will be no better than our beginning.
Therefore, as I reflect on these things it seems to me that the only glory that will never fade away--that CAN never fade away--is the glory of God expressed in his purposes. This is why Jesus taught us that the most important commandment of all is this: "Hear, O Israel, the Lord your God, the Lord is one. You shall LOVE the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind and strength. And the second is like it: You shall LOVE your neighbor as yourself" (Mark 12:28-34). In other words, he was saying, "Spend your life pursuing the only thing worth pursuing and pursue this thing in everything else you do--namely, God himself, the eternal one.
So the only motive for pursuing health that will not fade away is the passion to love God more by caring for that which he has entrusted to us, namely, our bodies. If my pursuit of health is essentially the pursuit of the glory of God I will not be disappointed because God's glory will never fade away. As David said in Psalm 16:11, "You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore."--that is, pleasures that will never fade away.
So I invite you to search your heart with me and think deeply about WHY you're pursuing health. Will the things you're pursuing last or will they fade away? Why spend your life running after things that will undoubtedly fade away? Why not pursue God in all things since God and his purposes will never fade away?
Thanks for putting up with such a long entry, and thanks for being on this journey with me! I appreciate you so much, my SP friends! To God be the glory.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
I was talking with a friend yesterday about how much my tastes have changed over the last 10 months. Honestly, the very thought of eating McDonalds, which used to be so delightful to me, is now off-putting. And the handful of times when I've decided to eat there for the sake of convenience my body has very much disagreed with me! It's learned to love good foods and it has a hard time processing processed foods now.
Conversely, almost every day I waking up literally craving fruits and veggies, especially spinach! I love spinach and eat it almost every day. Just writing about it is making my mouth water right now. It takes time to acquire such cravings but once you have them nothing else will satisfy.
So, I'm very thankful to God and also to SP for causing/helping me to pursue health until I've come to the place where I now crave what is good and have a distaste for what is not good.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
I just enjoyed a homemade burrito which included:
6 oz of chicken
onions, red and white
fresh cut 1/2 tomato
bell peppers, red and yellow
spinach, 1 cup cooked
pace picante sauce
Oh what a yummy burrito, glad I made a double recipe so I can have this again for dinner!
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
I take Mondays off so today is my "Monday," if you will. Unlike many, I love my "Mondays," I love the anticipation of starting a new week full of possibilities and hope--and of course challenges and difficulties, but as a follower of Jesus Christ I live with the hope that God will "work all things together for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose" (Rom 8:28).
I'm very eager to grow in my pursuit of Jesus this week by advancing in prayer, Bible study, Bible memory, service to others, healthy eating, exercise, and the enjoyment of all of the graces of God in my life.
Thanks, Lord, for the privilege of life today and of knowing you. Please help me to make the most of every breath for the glory of your name and the good of others and the joy of my own soul!
Monday, November 16, 2009
Over the last week I have been feeling slightly dizzy all the time. This kind of thing has happened to me for years and I've been to a couple of doctors about it but no one knows what's happening or what to do about it. This last week it was significant enough that I didn't feel comfortable exercising which is very unusual for me--I don't let many things stop me from what I've determined to do. If this keeps happening I may go see the doc again but I know what he'll say--not much of anything. I don't know, perhaps I have a cold that's slight enough that dizziness is the only palpable symptom. One way or the other I sure hope to get back to the routine this week.
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