As I have said before, our family aims to do family devotions (out of the ESV Seek and Find Bible – http://justinfarley.blogspot.com/2011/11/find.html) on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. We also do our very best to read another book as a family on Tuesday, Thursday, and sometimes on Saturday. For the last year or so that has largely been out of C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia. We only have one and a half books to go before we complete the entire series. However, recently we took a short hiatus from Aslan to read through A.A. Milne’s “Winnie the Pooh.” It was a fun read for sure.
But here is what I have learned – I am a whole lot like the “small-brained bear.” I like honey a bit too much. While caught in a flash flood, Winnie the Pooh was forced to find shelter from the storm. The author writes, “Escape was finished, there was Pooh sitting on his branch, dangling his legs, and there, beside him, were ten pots of honey….Two days later there was Pooh, sitting on his branch, dangling his legs, and there, beside him, were four pots of honey….Three days later, there was Pooh, sitting on his branch, dangling his legs, and there, beside him, was one pot of honey. Four days later, there was Pooh…” (228).
I eat when I am stressed. I eat when I am bored. I eat when I am hungry. I probably eat when I am none of these things. This has been an up and down journey (mostly up – at least in pounds) for me. And a well-documented battle at that (read more at http://justinfarley.blogspot.com/2011/11/find.html). Three years ago I was at my heaviest. So two years ago I added a weightlifting regiment and accountability partner to the equation. I lost twenty-one pounds in a matter of months and but fell twenty pounds shy of my goal for that year. And sadly during the course of the year that followed, especially during the months of completing my thesis, I found myself gaining nearly all of it back (not quite – but close enough).
The Apostle Paul writes, “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works” (Titus 3:11-14, ESV).
Now don’t get me wrong, there have been some significant victories along the way. One of those is that I have still been exercising pretty consistantly over the past 24 months. Now back to dietary discipline. I have since lost ten pounds in as many days. I have thirty pounds to my goal set for the end the year (and then an additional ten pounds for the following year).
It is time. And it will be anything from easy. But discipline must be an evident fruit in EVERY area of my life.
Milne’s masterpiece concludes with a conversation between good friends. Piglet asks, “When you wake up in the morning, Pooh…what’s the first thing you say to yourself?” Pooh responds, “What’s for breakfast…what do you say, Piglet?” The pig replies, “I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” Pooh concludes, “It’s the same thing” (265).
It cannot be the same thing. I will not find myself in a place where I live to eat – otherwise there is little to live for. Every morning after waking up, I am committed to give my very best to the real Adventure. All of my heart, mind, BODY, and soul…