Monday, September 26, 2011

My Life Depends On It!

Our marriage began with a diet of moules and frites. Honeymooning in Quebec, we were motivated by our hotel to visit many French restaurants where we had our fill of mussels and french fries on a daily basis after eating chocolate-filled croissants in the morning. When the six days of consuming a diet rich in saturated fat were over, I said good-bye to Weight Watchers. Never mind the fact that I had just lost some thirty pounds and was wearing a wedding dress that was still too big on top because the seamstress could not keep up with my shrinking chest and waistline. I have no idea how many pounds we packed on during the honeymoon because I was afraid to step on the scales when the thank-you notes were all written.

A life of excess has continued during the last three years of blissful marriage. We have not paid a lot of attention to what has entered our bodies and have consumed countless bottles of our favorite $7.89 wine from Costco. But it is all catching up with us. My weight is now higher than it has ever been and Craig is borderline diabetic, two things we have always struggled with but two things that can no longer be hidden as we reach mid-life.

I emailed Craig last week on a very busy day at work to inquire what was for dinner. Exhausted and worn out from countless crazy demands at the church, I suggested that we order Chinese for delivery, go to a nearby pub for 50-cent wing night or stop by Harris Teeter for the scallops that were on sale. I was leaning towards the first two options out of their pure ease. Craig, however, wrote back with words that were alarming.

I have to eat healthy. My life is depending on it.

We had sauteed scallops for dinner that night with a plentiful side of steamed vegetables, but the chapter is not over. Craig's words are still haunting me. The decisions I make regarding what to buy at the store and what to prepare for dinner have a huge impact on Craig. The decisions I make can lead to us both being healthier and enjoying a full, long life or they can lead to us suffering from sickness and having our lives cut short.

We so often live life as if we are in control. We can do whatever we want to do. We can eat whatever we want to eat. We can enjoy whatever we want to enjoy. It's my life, we repeat over and over again. But what is our life dependent on? Are the choices we make only about us?

What is your life dependent on? What is my life dependent on?

A song kept entering my mind as this question rattled throughout my spirit last week. I don't know the title or the full words but I do know several phrases. "You are in the air I breathe" and "I'm desperate for you."

I was grounded again last week, brought down from my ego that believes I really am capable of doing anything and that I can cross each item off my to-do list without even calling upon God. I was brought down on my knees again last week. With a rush of responsibilities upon me, a body running on empty, and a spirit that is weak, I realized again that there is no way I could even leave the house without realizing that my day was completely dependent upon God. I was chained to the table with a Bible open and eyes that were ready to be filled with tears of defeat when God gently picked me up again and promised to work within me.

The decisions I make impact countless people, especially the people I am closest to. The same is true of you. What we do matters in big and small ways. It's rather alarming to ponder how much power we have.

My body and spirit are more tired this morning than they were last week. I am exhausted. This will be another week when it will be easier to grab junk than to drink deeply from the wells that never run dry. But, my life depends on those wells. My life depends upon the bread that satisfies until I want no more.

Here we go again, God, into another demanding and overflowing week. I'm depending upon you to guide me, to strengthen me, to increase my faith and to work within me and in spite of me. Please stand by my side this week. Please help me to see you and to acknowledge you at all times. I need you, Lord. My life depends upon you. Help me to be focused. Help me to be more disciplined. Help me, Lord. Amen.

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