Fat Fantasies

I’ve been on a hundred diets. They don’t work. In fact, while starting a new diet produces some dramatic weight loss in the short term, inevitably, I find the weight I had lost and then add maybe five pounds to my original weight just for good measure. That’s how you create a fat guy.

But I’ve found out some stuff in all these weight wars: it’s a marathon not a sprint. For the past decade, I’ve been leisurely losing weight – a pound here and there – since I quit dieting. I have learned my needs; I’ve harnessed my wants (those stupid wants); and, sadly, have come face to face with the realization that magic does not exist, at least on the fat farm.

In watching the fat flow past in these deliverance retreats, I try hard not to be skeptical of any long term results in the pursuit of wholeness. Fat is relative. Spiritually speaking, it is the buildup of hurts, abuses, ignorance, and ridiculous doctrines making the Saints so sluggish and unhealthy that our lives are relegated to just making it through the next week until we can assuage our consciences in the confessionals of whatever religious system we choose.

Then the weekly diet begins: I will do better, I will pursue Jesus more . . . but real life appears every stinking Monday and poof! the diet disappears. For the rest of the week we choose the Twinkies instead of the organic, gluten-free, farm-fresh food that is good for us, that with make us healthy and strong. So we lose a couple of spiritual pounds on Sunday only to gain them back and add a few more on top.

That’s called yo-yo dieting.

Now we observe the event diet. Conferences, special meetings, or, maybe even retreats come along and we tend to leave all pumped up with rapturous revelations, intentions as high as ever to reject the sugars and fats of real life in favor of these new superfoods.

But alas, the scavengers quickly steal our new thinking, or the crises of life in our own particular circle of hell come back into focus and the stress fries us to crispy critters, or friends, family, and co-workers demand we return to our default thinking so as to keep their world in order and the good food is strangled (see Matthew 13:3-9). In any case, the fat of our existence once again takes up its role of ensuring lethargy, heart disease, or the myriad of other maladies associated with morbid obesity.

You know how to lose the fat, right? It’s not quick, it’s definitely not easy, but it is simple: stop consuming junk and, wait for it… EXERCISE! It’s a spiritual work out, dudes and dudettes (Philippians 2:12), not a commitment to sitting (in a couch, a pew or otherwise).

I find it inconceivable that folks put their lives on hold, take time off work, travel long expensive miles, and pay real money to come to a Deliverance Retreat, hear what most agree is life-changing teaching, receive rare and effective ministry, and in a few days or weeks so easily succumb to the pressures of life under the tyranny of the kingdoms of this world and return to their impotent, overwhelming, life-sucking default.

So, here it is: maybe it’s time to get off the couch pew and eat pure food you grow and prepare and consume. What we have been getting is empty, over-processed calories full of false preservatives and contaminants. It’s probably time for some roughage, some hearty meat full of protein to empower us toward changing our domain and maybe the world.

Take a minute out of your day and go over the notes from your retreat, especially if you went to Death Camp as well (aka the Advanced Wholeness Retreat.) Then use the other tools you’ve gather in your walk and find Jesus’ identity in you. If you aren’t changing into Him, life is just spending time spinning around the drain.

Suck it up and be Him. Nothing else matters. But beware: Wholeness isn’t for sissies.