Monday, April 16, 2012

Voluntary Athletic Agony

Usually I fast supper on Saturday and breakfast and lunch on Sunday and eat again at 5:00.  That gives me time to get my energy built back up to run Monday morning.  This past Saturday, though, I intended to fast lunch and supper and just breakfast on Sunday because we had lunch at Sonny’s BBQ planned with immediate and extended family.  I didn’t want to fast lunch and supper on Saturday, though.  I wanted to eat.  It wasn’t a direct command from God, so I felt justified in modifying it to a liquid day.  Besides, I had smoothie left from Friday and figured I should use it up.  However, I didn’t just drink smoothie.  I ate a little bit of cheese and crackers too. 

A couple weeks ago I made up 80-calorie snack-size baggies of roasted, unsalted almonds to keep in my purse in case I got hungry and needed a quick snack.  Some of you may remember this picture I put on Facebook.

As I walked into church yesterday morning having had only smoothie for breakfast but plenty of it, I had the thought that I could have one of those bags of almonds.  I countered with, “But I’m not hungry.”  Within SECONDS I felt hunger.  I started to text a friend and tell her that old thoughts were attacking, but God interrupted and told me I needed to talk to Him first, so I went to the altar and prayed.  I told him I knew I didn’t NEED those almonds and asked him to help me resist them.  When I got back to my seat I took them out of my purse and put them in my daughter’s backpack so I’d have to ask her for them.  That would put an extra step in the process of getting to them and extra time for me to think about whether I really needed them or not.  (I just realized they’re still in her backpack 24 hours later!)  I finished texting my friend and told her that I need to honor God whether I have old thoughts or new ones. 

She texted back saying, “Satan has got our old number, doesn’t he?”  I love that imagery!  He sure does have my old number, but I don’t answer that phone anymore!  I actually do have an old phone that I never got rid of when I got my new one a few months ago. 

Once or twice a week I get a call on it, but I don’t answer it.  Actually, I never even hear it ring because I’ve turned the volume all the way down.  In the same way, I need to turn the volume on my old thoughts all the way to silent, like I did yesterday morning.  I don’t answer that cell phone anymore, and I got rid of my home number.  When satan calls that number he should hear, “You have reached a number that has been disconnected or is no longer in service.” 

I have a new number, literally and figuratively.  The longer I refuse to answer that literal old number and don’t use that phone, the fewer calls I get on it.  So it is with my figurative old number. 

We’re studying through 1 Timothy on Sunday mornings.  Chapter 6 verses 11-12 say, “You, [Michele] belong to God; so run (!) from all these evil things, and follow what is right and good.  Pursue a Godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness.  Fight the good fight for what we believe.  Hold tightly to the eternal life that God has given you, which you have confessed so well before many witnesses.” 

Our pastor said that the phrase “hold tightly” gives the picture of voluntary athletic agony.  Boy, do I know about voluntary athletic agony!  J  I need to be willing to be in agony if necessary as I fight this good fight, as I was and did yesterday morning when I resisted eating the almonds.  I endure the agony of aching feet and lungs because I know the end result is worth it.  I endure the agony of a stomach and taste buds that are calling for food they don’t need as I deny them what isn’t good for them, or at least not necessary at that time, because I know the end result of obedience to God is worth it. 


  1. Michelle.. this is just what i needed to hear.. Im struggling sooo much with my weight right now. I have gained all 42 lbs back .. that I lossed 5 years ago and managed to keep of for 3 years.I cannot afford expensive diets and have been praying for God to help me loose this weight and have self control over my eating habits. You have inspired me! Thank you for your obedience to Christ... Kim Baker (Moriah's mom.. from ballet)

  2. Great post Michele! I need to get better control of my eating! I think that will ALWAYS be a struggle! At least I'm getting the exercise part under control! LOL