Tuesday, January 3, 2012

self control: bleeding

I’ve been horrible about doing dishes for a few decades. Around 4:00 every afternoon I walk into the kitchen and do a 360 turn, to see dishes piled high. No sign of clean counter showing. It’s a daily exercise in failure and discouragement. I need to make dinner, but who wants to make dinner in a mess? Hamburgers it is. (We fully support the salary of one Wendy’s employee.) And as I pull through the drive-through at Wendy’s, I fork out $20.00 for my family to eat a meal, 1/5 of my weekly grocery budget. Then we get home, and I pull out the fries. It should be a salad or other wholesome vegetable. Instead we eat grease.

Lack of self-control in housekeeping...leads to lack of self-control in cooking…leads to lack of self-control in spending…leads to lack of self-control in healthy eating... A little problem is like a nick in the carotid artery. Life bleeds out.

I started doing some strength training a few years ago –what seemed like an immense sacrifice of time in my day. But after a while my energy level began to change. My productivity in the day increased four times over the minutes I was spending lifting a few weights. Because I was working out, I started to care more about what I was eating. (Who wants to ruin a good workout with bad calories?) I felt better about myself, which made me feel I had more to offer to other people. I was able to handle more tasks at home and at church. So much benefit from a 15-minute workout. Self-control cauterizes.

Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10b) Arteries fully patent. Blood flowing. Oxygen moving quickly and easily to every organ, to every extremity. If we want a full life, we must begin by using self-control to staunch the flow of thoughts and habits that lead to a useless life.

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