The Eschatological Poseidon Adventure
I was watching The Great Poseidon adventure this last weekend. In this story, a rogue wave capsizes a large cruise liner turning it upside down. Then a group from the surviving crew begin to make the journey to the “bottom of the boat” (as this is now the top) before the ship’s air compartments are flooded sending it sinking to the floor of the ocean. What does this have to do with God’s concern over our weight problems?
Well…Only a select group of the boat’s members are wise enough to make the decision to begin the trek. Among the prudent, there is a character by the name of Carol Lynley. But in one scene, she says she cannot go because she is “old and fat”. Now, her husband is the one she is bidding an emotional farewell as he is another one of the group. It is obvious that he is just as “old” as she is. So, really her only hindrance is her weight.
Here is where I’m going with this. There is coming a Great Poseidon-like adventure like we cannot even begin to imagine. And we need to be fit in order to survive the shaking that is coming in these end times. It is a very sad thing that our weight could hold us back from surviving. Seem a little radical?
Our Daily Adventure with God
Okay let’s be more pragmatic. In Hebrews it says…
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
When I was pregnant, part of the misery was the weight. Lugging around an extra 25-35 lbs. was taxing. I felt like my limbs were being pulled toward the ground as I moved throughout my day. Small errands seemed painfully tedious. And I found myself much less motivated to do anything extra. In this Christian life, we are not just detached spirit-souls walking around. We do the works of Christ in a body. How then can we serve God with weight hindering us, or how would removing this extra weight allow us to serve Him better?
You might say that it doesn’t really make a difference. “I’m doing just fine with these extra 20 lbs.” I used a similar argument with my dad when I was a runner and also smoked cigarettes. I was running 4 miles a day at an 8 minute per mile pace. Why quit? But my dad cut through my logic by asking, “How much better would you run & feel while running if you didn’t smoke?” He was right. And this is my point. How much better would you serve God & feel while serving God if you were at your most healthy weight?
And it’s not just our body. Our body is the house for our spirit. God knows that it is when we live victoriously that we are most satisfied in this life. We live victoriously by walking by the Spirit…being controlled by the Spirit. And this is when we bear fruit. When we lose our battle with over-eating or when we don’t exercise discipline in working out and staying fit, we feel defeated. This is because the fruit of self-control is not evident in our life. The body is controlling the spirit. This is backwards from how God designed it. When our spirit has control over our body, we are operating the way God designed. And we are bringing glory to God and Christ by His spirit.
We are more able to walk in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, and goodness when we operate this order: Spirit controlling–> mind controlling –>body. When we are a prisoner to the desires of our body (body–>mind–>spirit)to be lazy, over-indulge/eat the wrong things, etc, we are not as free to operate in these fruits.
God cares about us having joy overflowing in this life. He cares about us living in fullness and with a vibrant spirit. The wrong foods not only weighs down your body, it dulls your mind, and subdues your spirit. Just as a starving african child is robbed of joy & peace, an obese american adult is also. God cares equally for both.
“An over-filled stomach quite possibly indicates an under-filled soul.” -anonymous