Monday, January 30, 2012

self control: the size of a deck of cards

The first time I thought about it was when my 70-something grandma went on an adventure to China.  I loved all her stories when she got back -places she’d been and especially her experience of walking the great wall.  But one comment landed in my mind and stayed there like a bur.

She said there aren’t fat people in China.  They eat very small portions and no sugar. 

Very small portions.  It was the first time I began to think about how much I eat and the first time I wondered how much I need to eat.

The lack of self control in every area of life is almost always a problem of excess.
·        Too much eating.
·        Too much anger.
·        Too much spending.
·        Too much TV.
·        Too long of breaks at work.
·        Too much focus on self.

Jesus said, “Don’t store up for yourselves treasures on earth.”  (Matthew 6:19)  Too much stuff.  What do we really need? 

I just talked to a friend whose family of four is temporarily living in a 500-square-foot apartment.  She said when you only have that much space, you find out how much is really necessary to live on.

Nutritionists tell us a proper serving size of food is the size of a deck of cards.  I look at my plate when I fill it now. 

For one year I only owned two pair of pants, partly because funds were tight for clothing but also because I decided to see if I could live with a minimal amount of clothing.  For one entire year I took turns wearing those pants.  One pair on Monday.  The other pair on Tuesday.  No one noticed.  I was clothed.  It was enough.

In every area of life let's ask, “Lord, what portion size?”  How many words are enough?  How much food is enough?  How much recreation is enough?  How much stuff is enough?

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