Saturday, January 30, 2010

Pounds and Prayer Life

Free coiled tape measure healthy living stock ...Image by Pink Sherbet Photography via Flickr

Yesterday's post about life on "automatic" took me farther into the field of prayer's positive affects on my daily living and a another kooky train of thought began to develop as I continued to write in my journal.  The thought? -  that my prayer life, as well as my daily caloric intake, can both either benefit my well being or not.  I would suggest that a regular prayer life feeds my soul, my mind, my heart and all parts of my human being.  It can bring me peace, reflection, change, and lead me in the paths of Christianity that I find healthy and tolerable - meaning following in the path of God's redeeming love in all decision making and human interaction.

The same with caloric intake, except I stop short with this concept in the path of God's redeeming love - but wait, maybe not.  Doesn't the gospel tell me that my body is a temple that should be protected and honored with diligence and moderation?............well, it tells me something like that, so watching my caloric intake could be following in the path of God's redeeming love also, huh?

Really, caloric intake is one aspect of feeding one's body properly.  Another aspect of that caloric intake is dieting.  With all of the amazing food and drink available in today's world why would I hold back and not indulge in whatever I want, whenever and as often as I want?  Dark chocolate, handmade chocolate truffles spring to mind......yum!  But why do I stop short of over-dosing on those beautiful little creations?  For one thing, I perceive that I feel better and my body functions better when it is operating at a reasonable weight for my age and frame.  Vanity tells me that I look better adhering to healthy weight recommendations. 

Here's the point of this chatter - believing my physical and mental health depend on exercise, healthy caloric intake, and the proper amount of sleep, how crazy would I be to just ignore these medical pointers?  Also, believing that blood pressure, diabetes, head and muscle aches, as well as some forms of depression, busted knees and backaches can be relieved through proper dieting and exercise.........o.k. you've got that. 

IN THE SAME WAY, I believe that my physical body is affected by dietary discretion, I believe my spiritual life is dependent upon and coaxed into abundance by a routine plan of prayer, worship, and spiritual exercise.  Conversation with others about spirituality, concentration of effort when listening to sermons that might not be exactly what I want to hear, daily time for communing with God, my Creator, my Higher Power.  Let's consider that my "Christian Vanity" should be at play in this spiritual pilgrimage as well.  Why wouldn't I want my spirituality, my faith, my everyday actions be visible to those with whom I interact?  How much chance do I have of that reassurance if I choose to ignore the advice of centuries of theological reflection, never engage in personal disciplines of prayer or worship?  Isn't my inner appearance as important or even more important than my exterior facade?  Oh, I hope so, I pray so.

I step on the scale each morning and there's the truth registering down there close to my toes on the scale - over-indulgence, o.k., or just right, or maybe I need to "watch it" for a while as I've passed my mark for what I consider my personal well-being.  Wouldn't it be great if there was a similar scale on which we could step each a.m. that would show us where we register on God's scale, on our interpersonal relationship scale, on our quest to follow commandments of love and forgiveness? far as I know that scale is not around yet, but isn't it worth the time to work on our inner vanity as much or indeed even more important to work on our projection as one of the many children of God we will meet in our day to day life?  What do you think - are your pounds or your prayer life living up to your own expectations - not to others' expectations - but to your own?
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  1. Anonymous4:56 AM

    Funny, with pounds, I feel I need to loose a few more, others say I try to hard, I am fine the way I am.
    Prayer, I feel I am doing just fine, but others expectations are hardly satisfied with my current practice.

  2. I wanted to comment yesterday and don't think I ever managed it due to the interference of life events. Today I'm sleep deprived, so must keep this short since internal editors are damaged by this, but I wanted you to know I find your blog encouraging.

  3. Hi B, "Our pounds" - yep, they're our pounds, just as you mentioned yesterday in a post that "our sins" are OUR sins:) And the prayer pounds - once more I believe we have to use our discretion in what that just right amount should be! I always treasure your voice here, thanks.

  4. Hi PK -

    it's great to have your voice here and I'm happy to know that some of my words are encouraging to you.


  5. very interesting linkage here. i used to step on the scales daily and somewhere along the way, it became a near obsession. when i opted to go by the "feel" of things instead - i.e. how much energy i have, the fit of my clothes etc. i was able to find a healthier mental (& physical)balance for myself by throwing away the scales. that seems to be how i "measure" my faith these days, too. by listening to myself, i can tell pretty quickly when i need to indulge in a little more God-time... the cool thing is it never seems to be too much (unlike the results of a few too many chocolates.) xoxox

  6. Lucy,
    Funny, I have never considered giving up the scale. I agree that the accuracy of one's up or down is better served by "how things fit"; I think it may be one of my addictions - not ever having dabbled in eating disorders issues though it seems to work out all right just to remind me of when I think I'm fooling my body by sneaking extra calories. Surprise, surprise, my body is never fooled!

    And the faith measure, more God-time always seems to make me feel and operate better - now if I could just combine chocolates and morning prayer.........