I’m sitting in O’Hare airport (on my way to celebrate Thanksgiving with my daughters and their families) and I’m thinking about a woman who preceded me up the stairs from where the shuttle bus left us on the tarmac. Being very overweight and out of shape while lugging a carry-on bag, she had to stop and rest every few steps and when she finally reached the top she just stood there gasping for air. I knew exactly how she was feeling because 2 years ago I was feeling the same way, and I feel so sad for her. I wanted to stop and compassionately say, “It doesn’t have to be this way; I’ve been where you are and it is possible to feel better.” But I didn’t because I didn’t know her and I didn’t want to offend. Should I have? Perhaps an encouraging word would have made a difference in her life. What do you think?
As I sit in the airport, I look around and see person after person downing processed, fried, fast food that is encased in large rolls and accompanied with french fries and soda, and I wonder why we do such things to ourselves. I admit that a part of me wishes I could enjoy that kind of food the way I used to enjoy it, and I’m tempted to think that having it as a treat once in a while wouldn’t hurt. But then I realize that I have been eating real food for so long now that what used to taste good to me probably wouldn’t taste that good to me anymore. So I probably wouldn’t enjoy it nearly as much as I think I would.
It takes effort to change from bad habits to good habits and, being a basically lazy person, I understand how hard it is. Sometimes it just requires making the small step of looking further down the menu for a salad instead of a burger. Sometimes it takes a little pre-planning as we did on this trip. Last night I hard boiled some eggs and packed some cheese so we could have a low carb breakfast on our early morning flight from Maine. It takes effort to grow greens during the Maine winter and it takes effort to put a clean, healthy meal in front of my husband and me when it would be so much easier to stop for a pizza. Sometimes I resent all the effort it takes, and then, God puts a woman in front of me on the stairs to remind me of how it used to be and I am glad I am making the effort.
But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. 16 Only let us hold true to what we have attained. Philippians 3:13-16