Saturday, September 6, 2008
My friend Dana and I started a club together, and while right now we have only two members, I know that the Body Watchers Club is meant for great things. Ok, I confess, we really just modified Weight Watchers so that we could skip out on the meetings and still lose weight. You see, I really want to lose the rest of this baggage that my little Elisabeth left when she came into this wonderful world of ours. Dana and I have been chugging along now for about three weeks, drinking a lot of water, kickboxing, and calorie counting. You can imagine how, after weeks of deprevation and work I was relieved to hear that I can have the body I've always wanted. I was listening to the radio while driving and heard this commercial about liposuction and cellulite removal. It sounded very promising. The best part? They would put on a payment plan for my new body! That's right! I might qualify for financing and can pay my body off with no interest for a year! Whoo hoo. I started laughing quietly to myself and mumbling about liposuction. I am sure that at the time I probably made some wisecrack about how the world was pretty pathetic, and probably wondered aloud about what they would do to you if you didn't pay for you're body. I wonder if they put your fat back? Anyway... I forgot about the lipo place until this Thursday. Jeff and I had come to Louisville with my fellow body watcher, Dana, and her husband, Earl, to celebrate his birthday. We were walking down Bardstown (something I miss desprately now that I am in E-town) and we saw a homeless man on a bench. Dana and Earl are fellow believers in Christ, but as all four of us walked past the man no one said a thing. Now he was sleeping, but I know that each of us in our own way was ignoring his plight, hoping that if we pretended he wasn't there, maybe he wouldn't be. I wondered aloud to Dana if the body of Christ was doing enough to help the homeless; the down trodden; the lost. She nodded her head in agreement, but we didn't really talk about the matter anymore. I thought about the man once again on the way home last night, and I thought of the body I've always wanted. For the first time it occurred to me that the body I've always wanted is not a physical body, it's the body of Christ and I am part of it. I want to do something that will matter long after my last lipo payment would be made. As Jim Elliot said, we are not fools to give up what we cannot keep to gain what we could never lose. As Christians we are all part of the body watchers club, and sometimes we need to encourage fellow believers to quit focusing on things we cannot keep, like mega church buildings, fountains, and gyms, and start looking at what we can never lose. I think if I did that a little more often I could have the body I've always dreamed of, and so could you.
There were once three ducks that were getting quite tired of where they were. "Hey, you know, I have been around this pond like 40 times guys," one duck said to the others. "I hear ya," said the second duck, "I would really like to get out and see the world! There have to be other ponds!" "What is wrong with our pond!?!" said the third duck. "I like it here! Why would we want to leave?" After much discussion, duck 1 and duck 2 talked duck 3 into leaving. They started to fly off to see what they could see when duck 3 said, "Hey, my wings are tired, and I would much rather walk than try to fly on this incredibly hot day." "I'm kind of tired too, " duck 1 confessed, and so the ducks landed. The ducks waddled for what seemed like forever when they came upon a large puddle at the side of a very large hill. "Hey! A new pond!" screamed duck 3, and he quickly waddled off in the direction of the puddle, splashing in, swimming and quacking. Duck 2 looked at duck 1, "Doesn't that look smaller than our old pond?" asked duck 2. "Humph," shrugged duck 1, "it looks quite nice to me." said duck 1, and he flew over to the puddle and began to splash. Duck 2 hung his head. He didn't want to leave his friends, but surely this wasn't what they had flown all this way for. This? Duck 2 hung his beak and sadly waddled over to the puddle at the base of the hill. "This is great!" said duck 3, "Who knew we would find this great pond." "You know, it is kind of nice. It is better than our old pond even!" said duck 1. " I don't really think this is all there is out there you guys. I have this feeling, this feeling that something big is out there. Do you really think we should just stop?" Ducks 1 and 3 thought for a moment and said together, "YES!" Duck 2 sadly swam in little circles around the puddle, knowing there was something more, but afraid to leave his friends behind. So the three little ducks swam and swam in their puddle. Little did they know that just over the big hill was a huge pond with many other ducks. It had a cool cove where the ducks could swim under the shade of giant weeping willow. Friendly people would come by every day to feed the ducks bread crumbs. It was a duck paradise. The three little ducks never found the big pond though. They stayed in their little puddle, missing out on something greater, just over the big hill. Don't be the ducks in the puddle. Sometimes we know we were meant for greater things then we have. We know there is more than what we have settled for. We might just be tired of looking, or maybe we settle for something that looks good at first. Maybe we let ourselves be talked into something less than we deserve because we are just too afraid to strike out on our own. We are meant to find big ponds; God never intended for us to swim in the puddles.
I read a story once in a book about a guy who met Santa Claus. He was a six year old kid and he had gone to the mall with his mom to get his picture taken with the big guy. He stood patiently among the many waiting youngsters. He probably looked around at the mall: hurried shoppers, screaming kids with runny noses, little girls gazing through toy store windows. While waiting in line he observed the teenage kids working their Christmas breaks posing as elves, escorting children through a snowy maze of cotton and glitter to the lap the one, the only SANTA. The line inched closer to the "North Pole" until finally it was his turn. The boy got to Santa, who smiled and asked "What do you want for Christmas?" This is where the boy got tongue tied, not because he was intimidated by Santa, but because Santa smelled like cologne and beef jerky. Surely Mrs. Claus had not gotten a whiff before he left home this morning. "How about a basketball?" Santa interjected after a painful silence. The little boy nodded, and hopped off of Santa's lap. "How was Santa?", his mother asked. "Good. Mom, I have to go to the bathroom," the little boy replied. So the mother and boy go to yet another line at the mall and wait to go to the restroom. The boy begs his mother to let him go by himself to the boys bathroom, and reluctantly, she concedes. In the bathroom the boy spots someone familiar at the urinal. He is tall, clad in red velor, and has a long white beard....hanging around his neck. The little boy looks up, realizing that the man smells oddly of beef jerky and cheap cologne. "Santa?" he squeaks. Looking down at the boy he responds, "Ho, ho, ho." He zips up and walks off. The boy rushes out to his mother, falling in his arms sobbing. "Lets go home." she says, understanding. Somehow she makes it feel a little better. I thought of this story yesterday. Someone that I greatly look up to and admire believes in something I don't. It was a painful thing to realize that the people we admire are human, and that like Santa, eventually will fall from grace. I ran to Jeff, cried a little, and he somehow made it feel a little better. We all face pedestals in our lives. Some of us are even on them. The one thing that we must remember is that we are fallen. We shouldn't be on, nor should we put people on, a pedestal. We WILL FALL. It is impossible not to. The only way to live in peace is to walk daily with the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ. He is the only one who deserves to be on a pedestal, and the only one who won't fall. You won't find him blogging about politics on myspace, or peeing in a mall. You will however find him at your lowest low, at your highest high, and everywhere in between. If your on a pedestal or have someone on one, kick it over now, and when you fall, fall in the arms of the one who died for you. He'll make it all better.