It Ain’t Easy to Change
NOTE: This post is in reference to a new diet and lifestyle choice that I started on Wednesday, October 22, 2014. Feel free to skip this post if you aren’t interested. However, if you are interested, and might like to know how to help me then read on.
If you have ever tried to change a habit or lifestyle, you know that it’s difficult. Frist, people become comfortable with the way things are, and that makes changing difficult. In addition, we become accustom to having things be a certain way, so when those routines get shifted it becomes awkward and uncomfortable. Finally, habits that we have developed over the course of years struggle to keep us chained to them.
I suppose that helps me to understand this passage from Exodus:
And as Pharaoh drew near, the sons of Israel looked, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they became very frightened; so the sons of Israel cried out to the LORD. Then they said to Moses, “Is it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you dealt with us in this way, bringing us out of Egypt? Is this not the word that we spoke to you in Egypt, saying, ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.”
Ex 14:10-12 (NASB77)
WHAT??? The people who had just been freed through the miracle of God’s power are now claiming that they wish they had stayed in Egypt as slaves! Can they really have meant that? Yes, and here’s why. They were changing their entire lives. Just as I shared above, these changes, while for the better, do not come easy. It’s far easier to stay in the land of slavery, then to venture out and find freedom. When it gets difficult, for them or for us, the first response is often to flee back to what we know. The trouble is, that leaves us as slaves, and we’re meant to be much more than that.
No More a Slave!
Let me tell you how this has been part of my experience. I am used to eating whatever I want whenever I want. I knew that wasn’t a healthy choice, but I was comfortable and felt that I had some control over that aspect of my life. In addition, I’m a “stress eater,” which means that I turn to comfort foods for comfort when troubled. Carbohydrates and sugar were my sweet companions (pun intended). In my third week of this life-change (diet) I have found myself tempted to return to those old habits. I faced cravings and longings that were very strong, and I am weak. Thoughts of Ice Cream, cookies, cake, pasta, and donuts haunted me, and I was honestly tempted beyond my ability to resist. It would have been so easy to hop in the car and go grab some sweet treat, and I know it would have satisfied me and made me happy.
The “problem” with giving in to those temptations was that I also know that I don’t want to go “back into Egypt.” I have made a commitment to this, and I know that it is the best thing for my health and my future. As I struggled with my strong craving for sweets I touched my face and felt my beard, I have not shaved yet this month. I was reminded that this fuzzy face was my sign of commitment not to cheat and to make it through, even when the cravings come. I was also reminded of the above passage of Scripture. I know that God was telling me that I can do this, and that what lies ahead of me is worth the struggle to get there. It is so much better than what lies behind me.
So…with prayer and God’s Word, I battled through, and to date have not cheated. It’s been difficult, but it’s paying off….
Week 3 Check-in: Lost almost 20 pounds so far!
I feel great! Although it may seem a small thing to some, my victory over cravings and temptation, and the slave-master of food thrilled and encouraged me. I don’t want to keep facing such strong temptations and cravings, but with your prayers and God’s presence I know I can succeed.