The annual call for exercise has been issued. The new year sales flyers feature equipment of all kinds that will reduce our middle and tone our muscles. The “Y”, Snap Fitness and other workout businesses are offering their “first month free” deals. News shows are featuring the latest home workout gadgets and dietitians galore are encouraging us to eat properly along with that healthy exercise regimen.
I am left to wonder why this has become an annual rite of post-holiday indulgence. It has been going on for years. Obesity in our nation continues to increase. Workout shops can be found in every small community. People must be buying the equipment. But things don’t seem to be getting better.
Lisa suggested to me that we live in a culture of obesity. Not only in body, but also in mind and spirit.
So I succumbed this week to the smart phone. I have argued that I am dumb enough already, I don’t need a smart phone to point out even more of my ignorance! But my “basic” 2005 model is on its last microchip and an i-phone 4 was free. I think about the times in the last month where I have been hanging out with people with smart phones and when a question has come up, we had an answer in seconds. The world truly is at our fingertips. The world’s knowledge is at our fingertips. But are we any smarter? Are we any wiser? Is anyone any closer to solving the major problems that face us…making our culture of violence more peaceful, growing out of debt and into prosperity, learning satisfaction and sharing in a culture of plenty? I would suggest that we are so obese in mind that we miss the simple answers and solutions to the complexities of our lives. It seems to me that common sense has been lost in the fat cells of too much information.
And spiritually, of course, anything goes. All religions are equal (even though adherents don’t believe that!). All religions have value (how can child sacrifice not be condemned by a thinking person?). Christians flock to the mega churches with their famous author-pastors and highly polished worship bands and learn so much about the Bible, attending course after course and taking notes on those great sermons-soon-to-be-another-book…but won’t leave the NRA to follow the Prince of Peace, or contribute sacrificially to Christian causes that actually save lives, or even more simply, forgive those who have trespassed against them. We are so obese in spirit that we cannot “blow with the Wind of the Spirit”. The fruit of the Spirit fails to grow in our lives because the basic nutrients of grace and faith are minimized by our prideful trust in our selves and not God.
We are obese, not only in body but also in mind and spirit.
I want to encourage us this new year to “strip down” and look at ourselves honestly. Look not only at our bodies but also our God-given minds and spirits to see what needs to be “lost”…that we might gain a more productive and healthy Life.
God bless you richly in 2013 as you seek to follow Jesus.