Two years ago I decided to lose weight…
It was around this time of year when I decided to go on the mother of all diets. Taking Kate Moss’s ‘nothing tastes as good as skinny feels’ as my mantra, I began my journey that ended in me going from a size 12 to an 8 in a matter of weeks. Those of you currently slaving away at the gym trying to sort out the summer bod, and asking how, listen closely. Starvation.
I can hear you already
“You did get that that was just plain old crazy, and quite simply unhealthy, in a life-threatening kind of way?”
Yes I did know, and no, I didn’t care. I wanted to lose weight at all costs, that if it meant engaging in what I called ‘non-eating days’ (what you would call starvation) those were the lengths I was willing to go to. I became so obsessed with losing weight and critiquing every inch of my body, I let that spread to critiquing others, and didn’t even realise I’d become sour and self-loathing. Looking back now, from a place of freedom, I’m literally so glad that God saved me from myself. The one positive I can take from the whole thing is that it highlighted how important the goals that we set for ourselves can be.
So what are you striving for?
Not that I have already attained this- that is, I have not already been perfected- but I strive to lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus also laid hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself to have attained this. Instead I am single-minded: Forgetting the things that are behind and reaching out for the things that are ahead, with this goal in mind, I strive toward the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12-14
We spend so much time striving for the wrong things. We are absolutely consumed with a goal that is so irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, that the moments we’ve dedicated to living, eating and breathing ‘that thing’, are pretty much wasted. Every day we throw our time (synonymous with our lives) in the bin we are quite literally lifting up the toilet seat and flushing away our most prized possession.
Firstly, we have our priorities in this messed up order and we don’t even realise it.
We have so many different roles to play in life that sometimes it gets tricky deciding which role needs attending to first. Imagine you’re a student, someone’s child and some company’s part time employee. When you have exams coming up, you don’t need me to tell you that it’s not the time to decide you’re going to do a major spring clean on your house and get in mummy’s good books. By all means help out your mother, but not to the point that the day before the exam,your excuse for not revising is that you thought you’d tidy the room that your mum had been nagging you to clean all year. In that very moment, clean house is not your priority. There’s a right time to do things and a wrong time. You don’t do your coursework while you’re serving customers at work, so why are you maintaining a text conversation with your friends in the middle of a church service? It took me a while to realise that the relationship I have with God, the Most High is my ultimate priority. My to-do list might be as long as my arm but seeking Jesus trumps it all.
Secondly, we’ve stopped caring what God thinks of us
Let’s go back to my weird relationship with food. If for a moment I had taken my eyes off of the scale and read my Bible, I would have been reminded that I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalms 139:14), everything God makes pleases him so according to God I looked great. Who cares if you’re not a bikini-body-head-turner when every time God looks at you he thinks ‘dayummmm I created a spice’ (spice means beautiful babe for everyone who started picturing oregano). Why don’t you care what God thinks? Not only have we ignored the positive things he thinks of us, we’ve stopped being concerned with the negative things. I say I’m in a relationship with you but everyday I’m cheating and my attitude is “So What?” Your attitude in life cannot be ‘I’m just a baby boy enjoying my life!” forever. There comes a time for maturity and growth.
This next bit might be hard to swallow but medicine never did taste sweet: If you cared… you would show it. If you loved God you’d obey his commands. If you wanted to be perfected in Christ you would open your bible and renew your mind. Don’t lie to yourself because you can’t lie to God. ‘I really want to get closer to God but….but….but…’But What? Are you bothered about aiming for the goal of righteousness, becoming more like Christ and partying it up with Jesus in heaven or nah?
Thirdly, we haven’t quite pin-pointed what exactly we want
One thing I’ve always found interesting is when older people say to me “you’re so lucky you found God in your youth, I wish I had started a relationship with Jesus earlier.” If I had a pound for every time I’ve mumbled under my breath, ‘no I’m not lucky, I wish I’d found God later in my life,’ I’d be a rich woman.
What exactly are you saying Dani?!
I may be the only one, but there’s been many a time in my life where on Sunday I’m so glad to be a Christian, can’t wait to walk with Christ that week, and by the time I hear a story about what a friend has got planned for their week, I’m wishing I could lay down my cross for a moment. What adults who got saved in adulthood, don’t understand, is that when you’re young you’d really like to live as a young person, despite your relationship with Jesus. What does living as a youth generally mean in our day and age: Putting our desires first. If that means lying on a roadside drunk every weekend, the taking of whichever drug is being offered, or the odd bout of casual sex, then so be it. It all becomes complicated when you’re a Christian. It’s not that God will immobilise you so you’re permanently on your knees at your bedside faced down in prayer, but that after you engage in all of these off-the-book activities, the Holy Spirit is going to hit you with major conviction and you’re going to feel like you should repent.
Tired of the guilty conscience after an evening spent sinning? It all comes down to who you want to please. Choosing to please God will never be easy but you’re just adding to your problems if you haven’t yet decided what team you’re batting for. Not only are you struggling with obeying God, you’re ‘umming and ahhing’ about whether you still want to obey God. Imagine a game of Rounders where you’re batting and fielding and bowling all at the same time. Tiresome no? Make life easier and make a decision that it’s Jesus you want to live for and walking the righteousness route is the only path you want to take.
I got so caught up in trying to perfect my body that I lost sight of all else. Nobody is perfect but in serving God, we should at least be striving for perfection. Being on the pitch was decided for you a long time ago, you now have to decide which goal you’re aiming for.
Loving you long time