Have you started your list yet?
You know, the obligatory list of New Year's resolutions-- which is just another way of saying your motivation for change is so low you've got to pin it on a calendar date.
Or did you give up the whole idea a long time ago? Too frustrating. Too overwhelming. Too much defeat and you don't need another reason to beat yourself up.
But if you were going to make a change this year....just sayin'...you know, playing "what if'?
What would it be?
Did your mind rush straight to the scales? I'll bet losing weight is on nine out of ten resolution lists this year. Why? Why are we so preoccupied with carrying all that extra weight, while continuing the very actions that keep us that way?
I believe the reason you remain in the "hefty" category is because it doesn't really bother you that badly. You just think it should. You've memorized the list of health reasons, heard your mother nag about it until it rings in your ears, and frowned at your widening girth in the mirror...yet you do nothing to change it.
Going up a pants' size is a small price to pay for the comfort of that extra box of cookies. And the thought of cutting back on Big Macs produces a pain greater than heartburn. The fact is, you got yourself this way and it's grown comfortable. Regardless of what you may say to the contrary, you're not ready to give it up.
I won't even mention that gluttony is a sin, because that's not what this post is about.
Fooled you, huh?
No, I'd rather you make the short mental leap with me to the other shady areas of your life where you've grown too comfortable. You've heard the preacher say they're harmful to you, you've felt the pangs of guilt when you indulge, and you've frowned at yourself every time your half-hearted attempt to change fizzles. But the truth is, you don't care that much.
We do things because they work for us. They may not work well, or for long, but they are meeting some need so we keep at it, even if in the process we are destroying the very peace and joy we long for. Habits, addictions, attitudes, friendships...the list is infinite. There are a million and one ways we can mess up the victorious life God planned for us, and we seem to discover most of them before we've even left our teens.
The problem is we load ourselves down with so many homemade attempts to satisfy our longings that it quickly becomes too much to carry. We stagger under the bundles we're afraid to let go of. Our souls are more overweight than our bodies. Hearts made of concrete, consciences laden with guilt, and backpacks so stuffed with shame we can barely lift our heads. Yet, we cling to it all as though we were designed to be beasts of burden.
We skip right over that delicious promise of Jesus in the book of Matthew: "Come unto Me, all you who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
God knows you're overweight and He offers a reducing plan you won't find anywhere on late-night TV. His solution? "Give it to Me."
Yep, it's that easy. You were not created to bear those burdens alone and God offers to do it for you. But you have to let go first. You have to accept that those giant bags of trash you're carting around cannot meet your needs. You have to give them to Him. In exchange, he offers you a lightweight carry-on, packed with everything you need for this trip on earth.
So maybe you DO need a list this New Years. It only needs to include one item:
- Give junk to God.