Today, I had the best walk/run I've had in months. (Ok, let's just call it wogging-a cross between fast walking and slow jogging.) My exercise and eating routine has not been "normal" since our trip to Europe at the end of August and our move at the beginning of September. After the move there was the upheaval of renovations happening, and then the holiday busyness. My exercise was sporadic and my eating was too often stress induced and carb overloaded. New Year's Day came and went, and with it the resolution to get back to my routine. Then it snowed, and then came the freezing rain. I ventured out, but had to walk so carefully in order not to fall that, while it was refreshing, it didn't feel like I got much exercise. Finally, today the ice was almost all gone and I got in a good hour of "wogging". It felt so good!
On the other hand, after eating what I wanted when I wanted it during the holidays, it's not been easy to go back to limiting my carb and calorie input. I've been hungry! My tummy has gotten used to being fed frequently and abundantly.
As my stomach was growling this afternoon I realized the flesh does not like moderation! It loves indulgence. It wants to eat what it wants when it wants it and as much as it wants. It wants to be lazy instead of exercise. It wants to spend money without limits. It wants to party, party, party. It loves excess, except when it comes to the things of the Spirit, things like worship, thanksgiving, prayer, Bible study, and loving and caring for others. Then, suddenly the flesh wants us to live a life of moderation. You know, just do enough of the spiritual stuff to get by. So, while our flesh is growing, our spirit withers. I wish my spirit was as persistent on insisting to be fed as my stomach is. I wish it growled loudly for regular spiritual nourishment and craved continually to taste and see that the Lord is good.
Last year I journaled my way through the Bible. There in its wide margins I made a decision to engage in the Word with abandon. I doodled with colored pencils, wrote out verses that stood out to me, noted word meanings, made lists, listed cross references. I've loved, read, studied, and taught the Bible for decades, but never have I enjoyed reading through the Word so much. Something about engaging the studious teacher part of me with the quirky creative part of me connected me with the Word in a whole new and wonderful way. There was no doing just enough to get by, I wanted more!
When the new year arrived and I finished journaling through the whole Bible, I felt both excited at finishing and sad that it was over. Of course I'm still reading and studying the Bible, but this year, I think God's pinpointing another area that He wants me to learn and grow in. He's telling me that I've had enough of moderation in my prayer life. It's time to crave something more.