I have a confession.....I can be a bit obsessive at times, I think it's part of my perfectionism. When I decide to do something, it can easily consume my focus. I've done this in a lot of different areas in the past - scrapbooking, collecting cookbooks, looking for a new house (we didn't end up moving), couponing and so on. Lately I've been doing that with my focus on fitness. Don't get me wrong, I need to focus on this and I will continue to do so but it's become a mini idol for me (or maybe not so mini). My eyes have shifted from the One who created me to...well...quite frankly....me. I haven't missed a day Sparking but I would go days without doing my devotions or spending any quality time with God. Sure, I would still listen to Christian radio and shoot up popcorn prayers and such, but that's not the relationship He desires to have with me. The other day, when I actually sat down and spent time with Him, the devotional for the day hit me square in the face. It was from Matthew 8:21, where a man said he wanted to follow Jesus, but first he wanted to go and bury his father.
I am including the devotional here as a reminder to me because it's easy to forget "a-ha" moments sometimes. So here it is:
-----Have you ever said:" "Once I get _____ done, then my life will calm dawn"? You are not alone. It's an easy habit to develop, but a hard one to break!
The man Jesus called to follow him here in Mattheew 8 said basically the same thing to Jesus: "Uh, master, hold that thought. Love what you're doing here, want to be a part of it, really I do. Just need to step over here and handle this task first. You understand right?"
Understand though, that if the man's father had already died, he would have been off burying him already. But it seams he wanted to wait until after his father's death, which might have been years away!
The three telling words in this passage are: "First let me..." When I am at my busiest, I am also the most self-absorbed. it's then that the most important things get pushed aside or don't make the list at all.
"Hi, my name is Luann, and I'm addicted to activity." Though I'm embarrassed to admit this, I've got to be real with you. God makes a simple request in my l ife and yours: "Follow me." But all too often these three words, "First let me..." slip past my lips.
Maybe Jesus is saying to us:
"Follow me, and let the kids wait a minute."
"Follow me, and let the phone ring."
"Follow me and reschedule the appointment."
"Follow me, and put everything else on your to-do list after me."
It's easy to get carried away with our busyness and neglect God. But God is asking that we put him first. It's a habit that's worth developing. Instead of an excuse, perhaps we should be saying, "First let me spend time with you, Jesus." -----
written by Luann Prater in the NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible for Women (Day 230)
Wow! When I read this, I got the message loud and clear. It doesn't mean that my journey to fitness isn't important or that it shouldn't be a priority. But I had given it a throne. I lived and breathed and slept it. It became my life. It's been pretty much all I talked about and all I've thought about for the past few months. But if my relationship with Christ is the most important thing to me, which it is, then that really needs to come first. And my getting fit and healthy is as much about being a good steward of the body that God gave me and serving Him with my body as it is looking and feeling better.
So I'll still be here everyday and I am still working diligently at making the mental and physical changes I need to make to get fit and healthy.
I'll still be Sparking daily
Doing physical activity and strength training regularly
But there are spiritual changes that need to happen too....and I am open to those too. So now it's time that I take my weight loss off the throne and put it back on the altar where it belongs. And it's time to recommit to spending quality quiet time wtih God daily - and spending that time with Him first - before all the other things that make up my day.