Year 4-Day 62: Today, I am grateful for balance.
This made me giggle. I almost choose to be grateful for sweatpants...as they are perfect for the gym and for cupcake days.
Balance. It is fascinating and not easy to achieve in a world that tends to measure by success by excess. Fast food is one of the biggest temptations of our time. A trip to Hardee's (A burger spot for my friends abroad...think McDonald's with a charcoal flair to the burger) in the 1970's was a rare treat. At our house, not even once a week. More like once a month. My Hanson cousins tell of splitting burgers at Hardees when they were little...and the thrill of graduating to your own burger.It was a simpler time.
We ate at home. We ate from the garden, the freezer and the pantry. We ate leftovers (we still do). We made do with what we had, even if it was not what we really craved or wanted. How different from today... and I am not old... but such reflections make me feel that way. Of course...the closest fast food was about 15 miles away back then. Now...there is a Subway on every corner, or so it seems.
Balance is desirable. It is no easy. The balance beam in gymnastics is the event that intrigues me the most. It is not my favorite event, but I watch it with wonder. The path is so narrow and straight. The feats they perform seem impossible to me. Some days, the stairs are a challenge...let alone jumping, dancing and flipping on a wooden beam that is 16 ft long and 4 inches wide. It is a lesson in focus, discipline, practice and falling off at times.
Balance takes practice and intentional decisions.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, For you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body."
Balance in diet. Balance in exercise. Both are a daily struggle. Obsessing and overdoing either can be as emotionally unhealthy as neglecting them physically. How do we manage them.
I was not born naturally thin. I have lived a fair portion of my life hungry. That portion has not been in the past 10 years. A physical impairment limits what I can do for exercise. Walking is best, but I neglect it. I need to grow improve my balance.
I was just talking with a friend about this scripture:
Romans 12:1-2 "I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."
To present our bodies to the Lord as a living sacrifice in reasonable service and in spiritual worship...depending on the translation. I memorized this as a child in the KJV. The meaning frustrated me, but I am sure I was driven by a prize or at least a sticker. Only as an adult have I come to understand that he calls us to balance in all things except... in how we love Him and love each other.
It is true. Scripture directs us to seek balance, except, we are to love Him with all of our hearts, mind, soul and strength. And, we are to love our neighbors (all of them) with our resources, our time, our gifts and even with humility as we learn to turn the other check when it would be so much more fun to "win" or be "right".
How will we offer our God our lives today? The offering of our bodies (our time, resources, decision making skills, intellect, strength of hand, kitchen skills, organizational skills, musical talents or our time in prayer. He is our spiritual worship and our reasonable service.
Now...a full length mirror can be scary, but it is a good reminder of where we stand at any given moment. The Lord...has x-ray vision...he knows our hearts. We can eat the salad... and hide the Little Debbie's. Some may have to accept we are not born to be thin, but balance is still important.
Luke 16:15-"And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God."
Who do we live to please? More personal...who do I live to please? Me or thee, my Lord?
Ecclesiastes 7:18 (NIV ) has been a verse that has stuck. I don't always live by it... but I know it is good instruction and strive for it. "Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes." We can, also, be so heavenly focused we are useless to the great commission.
Well, the good news is...most of us have enough to work on to keep us busy until he calls us home...or he returns at the trumpet sound. At least, I do.
It is a good day to think about balance...and exercise...and sweet treats...and sweatpants. It's a great day to think about trumpets, too.
Today, I am grateful we can strive for balance as we present our lives in service and in worship, until He calls us home.