I've been doing pretty well exercising and watching what I eat. In fact, I think I've lost not only a few pounds but some inches as well. However, since losing about 15 pounds since this summer, something strange has happened. I'm falling apart!
Everything you read tells you that once you lose weight you'll feel so great, but that has not been the case for me. My lower back went out. I have a pinched nerve in my neck/upper back at the moment. I had an endoscopy, colonoscopy and small bowel capsule. I've had h1n1 with walking pneumonia and a nasty case of the stomach flu. Makes me want to go eat a donut!
Right now I am doing this Bible study on false gods in our lives. Of course, I can usually recognize idols like watching too much tv or being on the computer too much. Those ones are fairly obvious. It's the more subtle ones that trip me up or hide in good intentions. The thing is many functional gods in our lives are derived from good things. Good things that have become a little too essential. I've been praying that God would reveal truth in my life - truth to see even the sneaky, not so obvious functional gods in my life.
So, imagine my surprise when my good intention of getting healthy was revealed as a god in my life. At first I was confused. I mean, taking care of myself by exercising and making good food choices is a good thing right? Getting to a weight that is appropriate for my height and build is also a good thing. I firmly believe that I need to be in good physical shape so I can do what God wants me to do. It's hard to fulfill your calling when you are lugging what amounts to a 3rd grader around with you all the time.
However, God showed me that my faith and hope had shifted from HIM, to being healthy. While it sounded good, being healthy and at my goal weight had become my promised land - it was where I would be happy and healthy and magically free from any threat of heart disease or cancer or any other scary health problem.
But the truth is there are no guarantees. It reminds of that guy I learned about in high school- Ponce de Leon. He found Florida but died unhappy because he desperately wanted to find the fountain of youth. His faith and hope were in something that wasn't reliable. Even if he had found this "fountain of youth", it would have disappointed and let him down.
It was a little scary to see how easily and slyly my focus had shifted from faith in God to faith in "being healthy." This doesn't mean that I am suddenly going to stop exercising or trying to make good food choices. But it does mean that I am going to stop stressing and obsessing about it all. God has the number of my days counted. He knows my future and what that will hold. Since I know He is good and He loves me more than I can possibly comprehend, I can relax and stop bowing down at the alter of "good health."