I’ve been guilty of over indulging myself in quite a few things. Uh, can we say C-O-F-F-E-E? Er…*cough*…mochas. Which, we all know is way different than coffee. Several hundred calories different…and several dollars different. But not just coffee…maybe food in general? Okay, yes..it’s not a question..it’s a fact. I eat more than my fair share of food. Okay…so maybe a few people’s shares of food. Ok, and there’s this phenomenon some of you may be familiar with..it’s called Diet Coke. I may quiet possibly be known as “that girl who drinks 6 Diet Cokes in one sitting at IHOP.” Okay..and so even with finances…just buying whatever I want, whenever I want, just because I want it. To state it simply, not living within my means. But that’s changing.
Yes, its true….I’m changing. But really, it’s not a new years resolution or anything…its actually just something I feel called to do as a Christian. Especially the way Christians should treat their bodies as living temples of God. A friend and I are keeping each other accountable for working out, and its challenged me to really examine what i eat and drink. But not just that, but i’ve really been stuck on this thought of being EXPOSED. I’m considering somehow tying that into this years theme..but more on that later. This whole idea of exposing myself to others…my flaws, weaknesses, struggles. Authenticity. But even more, exposing myself to the holiness of Christ, and somehow figuring out how mine can align more closely to His.
In changing my pattern of life from consuming/accumulating what I want versus what i need, it has really opened my eyes. Its amazing how numb you become to the goodness of things when you overindulge in them. I taught on the subject of gluttony a few months ago in lifegroups and that was the biggest thing that came to mind. There are so many great things in life, but when we overindulge in them, they lose that goodness. Suddenly it turns into a sick need of quantity rather than enjoying the quality.
I was reminded of this tonight. And here’s where that authenticity comes…cuz im about to get real honest. For the last few months, I’ve been drinking at least one (if not two) white chocolate mochas per day. Very often, I would get the largest size possible. Right now all of the nutritionists have fainted, and the accountants have had heart attacks. Nope, not good for the body or the wallet. Is it sad to say that I got a total of $70 worth of gift cards to various coffee shops for Christmas this year? Not only has my habit affect me, but its become obvious to those around me. (What are my actions saying that I haven’t even said in words?…thought to think about.) Ok, so back to the coffee. I havent had any coffee for several days now…which is an impressive thing for me lately. Trying to work out and watch what I eat hasnt allowed me to have my usual coffee binge. But tonight I was really really craving coffee…not for the caffeine (like usual), but simply for its taste. (What!? coffee has a taste if you dont suck it down so fast!?)
Not wanting to throw off my good habits too much, I ran to starbucks and used a giftcard to get a small white mocha. Knowing it was a small, and i wouldn’t have another one for a few days, I savored EVERY SIP. It took me 30 minutes to drink the whole thing, when a large used to take me less than ten. Seriously, it was SO good. Probably the best I’ve had in a long, long time. I was SO grateful for that one small cup of coffee. I began to see the beauty of it rather than a quick fix. Wow, the power that gluttony can have on gratitude….
What else have I overindulged in that has caused me to forget the beauty of its taste, or the joy I get from purchasing just the right book at just the right price and having saved the money to buy it in the first place. Its a joyful thing to save money for something, anticipate receiving it, and savoring every moment of it. What fun is it if you can get everything your heart desires the instant you desire it? Its NOT fun, as much as the world says it is. But God says that patience and self-control and gratefulness are admirable qualities to have. Living a wise and healthy and simple and sacrificial life is what God desires for us…not to be cruel, but as a way to bless us.
Sacrifice isn’t fun. And the pain my body goes through when I walk out of the gym isn’t fun. But its that pain and that sacrifice that ultimately leads us to freedom and blessing. And that’s why I’m choosing to live the way I am. Not because I see self-improvement as a way to build myself up, but because I see it as a way to glorify God. To live my life the way he INTENDED me to live and for my life to reflect the way I was created…in the image of Him. I think that brings glory to God. And isn’t that the whole reason we’re on this planet in the first place?