Weights and Measures

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I’m listening to an audio book about a fat princess

Who loses weight after a trek through the desert

An abduction

And I wonder idly if that might not be an excellent diet plan

Being abducted by desert dwellers

I like the story

Identify more than usual with the heroine

She is an unexpected leader

Insightful but also insecure

 

I consider the concept of weight for a moment

Not all weight is a bad thing

People lift weights to gain strength and muscle

Or so I’ve heard

The fishing pole next to me on the dock has a weight attached to it

Without it the hook would never sink

No fish for supper

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Physics defines weight as

“the force exerted on the mass of a body by a gravitational field”

Such a non-emotional definition

A little detached

So like Physics

 

Weight can be used to mean importance

As in something having more weight than something else

Being more important

Statisticians love to use weight that way

“I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to finish—the very works that I am doing—testify that the Father has sent me.” – John 5:36

And “weights and measures” is also a legal term

A definition for the length and width and volume of a thing

Its capacity

Most items have a fixed weight

A tomato removed from the vine

Is whatever weight the grocery scale says that it is

No more and no less

And more expensive the higher the number

The larger the tomato

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“Honest scales and balances belong to the Lord;
all the weights in the bag are of his making.” – Proverbs 16:11

People do not have a fixed weight

What we ingest and what we do with our bodies

Even our hormones and water intake

Have a bearing on our weight from day to day

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And weight in people often equals value

Even though I know it shouldn’t

We are all so much more than a number on a scale

But even I assume someone is more successful

More beautiful

If they are thin

Equating thinness with beauty

Assuming weight equals slovenliness

A lack of self-control

Despite the fact that many heavy people I know eat very well

Salads at every meal

Their weight gained a long time ago

Or even the result of factors beyond their control

 

The truth is that I know thin people

Full of self-righteousness and pride

An ugly heart of contempt for others

Even though their bodies are fit and lean

And overweight people

Who are full of gracious love for others

A pleasure to be around

Quick to give an encouraging word

“What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.” – Matthew 15:11

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But even though weight should not define value

I still feel the burden of it

And know I could be doing more to lose it

To feel better, more energetic

More capable

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Since abduction by desert dwellers is probably a little far flung

I think again about what needs to happen in my life

To lose the weight that burdens me

Food still too often a short-term cure

For long-term problems

Fear, anxiety, sadness

Only God can fill those empty places in me

Without leaving me empty

The way food does

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” – Matthew 6:25-27

It’s slow going

This losing rather than gaining

Especially as I age

I have to remember that one step, one day in the right direction

Is one day better off

No matter what the scale says in that moment

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We say people are laden with weight

When they are carrying too heavy a load

Literally or figuratively

And I wonder what burdens I need to set down

Burdens of envy or pride

or unforgiveness

Even towards myself

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I know food is not the enemy

A beautiful loaf of Amish baked bread

Is not the villain in a story

Where the salad stars as leading man

Bread is good

There is a reason Jesus called himself

The bread of life

And any diet that removes all bread

Is not sustainable forever

Exercise isn’t the answer

Not by itself

And while fasting helps

Even Muslims gain weight during Ramadan

Eating more than enough calories in a single nightly meal

To make up for not eating during the day

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“Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” – John 6:35

I know what to do

All the things one has to do to lose weight

Reduction in calories

Portion control

Less sugar

That last one gets me every time

Especially when blackberry ginger ale is the nectar of the gods

Water feeling like a poor substitute

Even though it makes me feel better

My body happier when hydrated

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The trouble is that the battle is really one of the heart

Not the stomach

A trying to fill the empty

With something that does not last

 

So today

This day

I fill my mind with prayer

And my heart with thankful praise

Choosing to let my value rest in Him

And I drink a refreshing glass of water

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“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.” – Psalm 139:14

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