"For you did not receive a spirit of fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, 'Abba, Father'."
Trying to lose weight can be such a downer! And it seems the older you get, the harder a task it becomes. You see, if good eating habits were not established earlier on, then it's like trying to teach an old dog new tricks.
I know my dog is pretty set in her ways already. At least for some things she is, and she's only two. For example, fetching. All dogs fetch, right? Maybe not. Well, do all dogs bring back whatever it is they fetch? No.
We throw a ball or a stick for our darling dog to retrieve, and she finds it. But she won't bring it back. And as much as we have try to teach her to bring it back, she won't.
Now this lesson is not about how to train dogs. But it is to get us thinking about how to break bad habits and/or develop good ones.
Developing good habits requires adjustment. Adjustment requires work (or at least mental effort). It is not always comfortable. It is not always enjoyable.
Recently, I reinstated my visits to the chiropractor. I won't tell you just now why I stopped going some years ago. (I'll save that one for a one on one conversation) And so my new chiropractor has prescribed me a heel lift.
A heel lift..... I didn't know I needed one. True... I have known about my Scoliosis since I was 12, but no one ever told me that a heel lift would alleviate some of my back trouble. Scoliosis is a curve in the spine that will cause you much pain, pressure and limitations.
So doctor tells me that I will need a 1/2 inch lift and has started me off with a 1/4 inch lift. She says this will help balance things off, and will help take some of the pressure off. That doesn't sound so bad, does it? No it doesn't. The only problem is that I have been without the heel lift for all of these years and have grown quite accustomed to feeling my right hip a bit higher than my left, and my right hand hang a little longer than my left, and so on. And believe it or not having to adjust to walking with this 1/4 inch lift has not been fun. I feel awkward. I feel like one side is higher than the other. Doctor told me, "You've been wrong for so long, that you don't know what is right." She's right. Hence, adjusting to the "1/4 inch heel lift new me" is causing me work.
Just like sitting upright instead of slouching is work. Just like eating an apple instead of apple pie is work. Just like being quiet instead of yelling when someone angers me, is work. Like reading the Bible is work. Like praying for someone who hurt you is work. Like letting God handle your cares is work. Like letting God lead you is work. Like letting God.... is work. And ironically, that's where we find peace and rest.
I remember now the trick to losing the extra pounds. I weigh out the outcomes from having healthy food as well as the not so healthy. When I think about the harm that the "junky" food would cause me, I count it as "not worth it". If only it was always that simple with the more spiritual things. But it isn't. You see we are engaged in a spiritual battle (whether you realize it or not). And it takes adjustments to quit doing wrong. And it takes work to begin doing what is right. Remember how Paul talks about "renewing our minds"? And yet Paul describes our challenge in Romans 7:14-15"We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.
So is there any hope for any one us? Us... with our curved thinking, awful lifelong habits, and comfort zones? Only in God.... when we cry out. "For you did not receive a spirit of fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, 'Abba, Father'."