Wednesday, August 22, 2012
I've been sensing for awhile now that this was going to be a year where I may find significant triumph (and hard work) in my health. In every situation where I am learning/growing I hear the messages relate to food and health!
At times it's seemed conflicting, at first I sensed God telling me I can't control it with my knowledge and willpower, that my schedule and being strict with food is interfering with other priorities He's given me. Ok, so I stop scheduling my health, I just tried to make good choices. Then at other times He's telling me it's still a priority and He's not going to drop the subject until every food/health/exercise related choice is a God-approved choice. Well, I guess those messages don't really conflict, but it's hard to figure which priorities go where when the priorities conflict! Anyway, I've been feeling this way since about April. Waiting for Him to tell me more because I was clearly stuck.
Then at the Summit it happened, a break through. Rick Warren talked about doing things on our own effort. His analogy is that we're driving in a boat Eastward, auto-pilot on, but we want to head West. What all of humanity typically does is just crank that steering wheel with all their might, and use all their power to keep that wheel heading West, fighting that internal auto-pilot which is determined to turn that boat back East. We need to find out what our auto-pilot is and turn it off (turn it over to God). Easier said than done, but I knew that is exactly what I've been doing my whole life with my health, fighting the auto-pilot. To figure out what that auto-pilot is he suggested recognizing or asking yourself, "it is so like me to _______". Out of 10 times we do that we are likely to find a pattern. Guess what mine was....hmmm, food?? I reward myself with food, I punish myself with food, I medicate myself with food, I celebrate with food, I pacify myself with food, I entertain myself with food. Yuck. What an awful realization.
As it was a recovery ministry summit, of course I was learning about recovery, and since I'm technically new to recovery as a program I never officially did an inventory (Step 4) of my life and they suggested if you haven't done it through CR that you should go through it the official CR way for more integrity and credibility for the people you are leading through it. I've been meaning to, especially now that my small group is at that point, but I definitely realized I need to work through it to find out where that food auto-pilot originated and sort out the roots so I can finally get rid of them!
Then, on the last day we did an exercise I've done before, nailing a sin to a cross, a symbolic gesture, but this time it wasn't just for forgiveness it was to finally and fully turn something over to Christ (Step 3). Before they invited us up they reminded us of some of the Step 1 and 2 areas that can hinder us from Step 3, one of those verses was Romans 12:1 "give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him." Although in my mind I know my body is not my own, it's a gift, it is something I am responsible for, to be a good steward over, it is His temple, I still have resisted sacrificing it.
I still insisted the stewardship would be on my terms, I would decide what was sacrificed and what was not. I convinced myself I was doing what would be acceptable to Him. I even hashed out what it meant to make my body a temple for Him. Clearly the back and forth weight and motivation over the years proves how good a steward I have truly been. Not. I talk a great talk (discipline not deprivation, don't undermine your determination), I have 66 posts on health over 5 years, but in the end I was only willing to sacrifice physically, not spiritually. I physically disciplined myself but not spiritually.
But that's it. I'm done with my terms. I am finally out of denial and I realize I am utterly powerless. I nailed this to the cross Friday August 10, 2012.
I know this doesn't mean I have this thing beat. This means I'll actually be more prone to failure for awhile, during this shift in my thinking. I know it's going to be a struggle to turn my auto-pilot off and keep it off. To replace mindless eating habits with mindful eating habits. It's interesting how I've increased in inviting God into every area of my day, being in tuned (my increase in intuition) to where He may be guiding me, yet I feel like there is a disconnect at my meal times, that this just seems to stop happening during that time. Highly doubtful that's a coincidence, that I get God-blocked when I'm most susceptible to falling for temptation.
It's great having intuition for opportunities to become 'Jesus in the flesh', but I also need sin-tuition to recognize when I am about to choose to give in to MY flesh. I'm hoping returning to saying a grace of gratitude before each meal (during preparation even) will help correct that, being thankful for the fuel and inviting God to spend my meal with me, I hope to become keenly aware of which are the God approved choices in my kitchen. At the Summit, one of the speakers spoke about temptation and how it isn't only a negative choice (sin) we are facing, if we choose to not fall to temptation and make the positive choice we are choosing spiritual growth. I'm choosing spiritual growth not continued body growth!