I’ve decided to try a new eating plan.
It goes something like this:
I am only going to eat foods prepared by others.
Restaurants or other pre-packaged, prepared foods. Snack foods, mostly.
Of course, I will only eat from places I like – or are the most convenient.
I’ll try to get in some of those home-cooking places once in a while – a real sit-down meal – but I know my life. Most of the time I will be swinging through a drive-thru window or running into a convenience store.
I will get one full meal a week, though.
Well, if I have time.
And nothing more important comes up.
But it still won’t be anything I’ve cooked.
After all, I have never been to cooking school.
I can’t possibly know how to put together a real meal.
I’ll have to depend on others.
And if they throw in additives and preservatives, I won’t worry about it.
After all, I am not a chemist, either. I don’t know what that stuff is – but surely it won’t hurt me, right?
Along with my new eating plan, I have decided to follow a similar workout plan.
I am only going to work out four times a year.
When I have time off.
And my Mother’s birthday, because I know that will make her happy.
OK – maybe more than four times a year – but no more than once a month!
That is all my schedule can handle.
And at least I am working out some – that has to count, right??
Are you horrified yet?
Of course, that is NOT my new eating plan.
It would literally kill me to do that.
I know better than to only eat out, to only eat pre-packaged foods, to not worry about the content of what I am eating.
And I know better than to starve myself between meals.
I know better than to work out only sporadically.
My body needs better than that.
And so does my soul.
Eating out occasionally is fine – a great treat. Even once a week is fine.
Like listening to a great sermon and getting fed from it.
Prepackaged food occasionally is fine – and it certainly is convenient.
Like getting fed from sermons on TV or the internet; like online devotionals and other resources.
But even in prepackaged food, quality counts.
Reading the label matters.
Being discerning in what you take in is important.
Like listening to that online sermon with a discerning ear, making sure the speaker’s words match what God says on the subject – or making sure that cute meme on Facebook actually matches God’s Word.
If I really ate like my “new eating plan”, my body would suffer.
My immune system would be weakened.
Illness would wreak havoc.
Because many Christ-followers do use that spiritual eating plan, The Body of Christ, His Church, is suffering.
Our immune system is weakened.
And the illness of division, untruth, fractured lives, and shameful practices are wreaking havoc.
And if I followed my new workout schedule, I would never grow muscle.
I would grow – but I would grow flabby and weak.
And because we are “neglecting our meeting together” (Hebrews 10:25) our muscles as a Church are weakened. We are to be the Light of the World, a CITY set on a hill, unable to be hidden.
We are to be a BODY of believers, working together for a common cause, sharing what we have seen God do in our lives with the dying world.
Not Lone Rangers.
Not single flashlights.
A great, un-hide-able Light shining together.
That takes intentionality.
That takes choosing.
And that is not based on convenience, how I feel or whatever better thing has come up.
It is a choice to be committed.
Just like I can choose to commit to working out regularly, which will result in great benefit for my body,
I can choose to commit to gathering with the Body of Christ regularly, which will result in great benefit for that Body.
It takes discipline and commitment. But the payoff is great.
Worshipping – together.
Connecting – together.
Growing – together.
Serving – together.
And then Sharing what we have seen, heard, learned, experienced in the House of God – together.
I have to be self-feeding.
But I don’t have to be a chef to do that.
And I don’t have to have a seminary degree to read God’s Word for myself.
I have to be connected to the community of Christ-followers.
But not because my church, the Body, needs me – but because I need the Body!
Praying that your spiritual eating plan and workout schedule are healthy and holy this week and beyond…