Oh Lord, I Pray… Help Me Lose Some Weight Today!
Prayer and dieting have a lot in common.
I have a confession to make. There has been too many covered-dish suppers and too few fasts in my life lately: too much sitting at the computer and too little running around the church. My belly might as well be stamped “Made by Budweiser,” which is not a pretty sight for a preacher who doesn’t drink. If you haven’t guessed by now, let me be blunt. I’ve gained a little weight.
But it’s not my fault. I’m a victim of uncontrollable circumstances caused by others:
- My kids: It would be cruel not to buy them cookies for snacks, deserts and lunches and it would be impolite not to eat a few with them. (No more than six or eight at a time!)
- My wife: She comes home from school hungry and needs a refreshing snack so to be a good husband; I eat just a little with her. (A whole bowl of popcorn is a little?)
- My church: Can I help it if they have so many covered-dish suppers with delicious food?
- My house: Much of my time is spent in the house within easy reach of the treats.
- My job: I work so hard there simply is no time to exercise.
- My lifestyle: There is no time to cook nutritional meals; so quick-fix junk food is a necessity.
- My Childhood: Can I help it if my parents spanked me at a tender age, therefore, causing my uncontrollable urge to consume large quantities of chocolate?
Are the violins softly playing in the background? Does anyone out there feel sorry for me? How does the country song go? ”Here’s a quarter. Call someone who cares!”
What’s the point, Larry?
The point is simply, I need to lose weight and there is really only one basic way to succeed. Forget the latest fads and learn the secret of the three D’s: Discipline, Diligence and Devotion to exercise. All of my creative excuses fall flat because diet and exercise will help me do more work, spend time with the kids, feel better, live longer and have extra energy for fun. The discipline practiced today reaps rewards of health, happiness and a slim waistline tomorrow.
So, what does this have to do with prayer? Everything!
Charles Wheeler once said: “Prayer should be like the steering wheel of a car.” How could a car possibly function without a steering wheel? Instead, we more often treat prayer as a spare-tire. We only use it when there is something flat in our lives. But wait; Lord… it’s not my fault. I’m a victim!
We sound like the title of a recent book. “O Lord, I Have Sinned, but I Have Some Great Excuses! Our prayer life failures sound a lot like my diet and exercise excuses. We’re busy with the children, the spouse, the job, the chores and a hectic lifestyle that allows no time for God. “I watch ‘Touched By An Angel’ every week. Does that count?”
God’s attitude toward prayer is obvious: “I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.” (Proverbs 8:17) “Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.” (Psalm 5:3)
The point is: God wants to have a relationship with us, which can only happen through habitual prayer. This brings up those same three D’s: Discipline, Diligence and Devotion to God. Again the creative excuses fall flat because a good prayer life will help us do more work, spend extra time with the kids, feel better, live longer and guarantee us an extraordinary eternal life!
That was a good lesson, wasn’t it? Now the million-dollar question: (Is this my final answer?) Can the preacher practice what he preaches? “O Lord I pray… Please, help me lose some weight today!”