Thursday, November 3, 2011


if you want to know something that's incredibly difficult and confusing, it's going from starving yourself, to having medical professionals feeding you six times per day, to trying to learn to eat in moderation and maintain that moderation every day for the rest of your life.

there have been times throughout the past six years that i've been so confused by these different approaches to food that i've cried out to God, asking Him why in the devil He thought it was a good idea to just let us all loose down here with a world full of food and expect us to know how to use it. i've wondered why we can't all be the same size and just eat however much or little and it not matter instead of being tortured by the tension of moderation. if he really loved us, why did He make it so hard?

but then if you think about it, there's hardly anything in life that we just get to rest on, that we just get to have figured out. God's mercies are new every morning, but so are our capacities to for idolatry.

we need love and acceptance. we need to help and we need to be helped. we need to rest and work and play. we need exercise and we need sleep. we need to be cautious and we need to be alive. we need to need people and we need to be secure in who we are.

there isn't one of those needs that can't be over met or under met.

every single one of them is only healthy in moderation.

and sometimes, moderation is getting a lot or a little of any one of them, depending on where we are.

at first thought, moderation is a daunting task. we've got about a million different facets to our lives, all of which are teetering on the edge of becoming idols if we indulge or ignore them to extremes. it's frightening and stressful and it's a lot.

but it's also a part of what makes us alive.

and we are alive because God made us and God made us to  bring glory to Himself.

but the beautiful thing about God making us to bring Him glory is that it's when we're bringing him glory that we get to be the fullest alive.  and fullness of life can mean suffering for seasons, but fullness in suffering is better than emptiness in fun.

God gave us some clues when he talked about hating gluttony and sloth, but it would have been much easier if He would have just left us a list of which needs need to be met in what ways in what circumstances. but then meeting our own needs in moderation wouldn't be living fully for God's glory; it would be following a formula.

so meeting our needs without indulging or ignoring them is a day-by-day, really a moment-by-moment series of choices. to be moderate is to be in constant effort. it sounds exhausting, but what is really exhausting is stagnation.

the thing about moderation being a constant effort is that our relationship to God is a constant effort as well. as soon as we think we're good and we can stop trying, we've probably gone too far one way or the other.

so here is where (i think) it all comes together. to glorify God in our fullness of life, we need to be in constant communion with Him. to be in constant communion with Him we need to be in active battle against our existing and potential idols. And this active battle (i think) is otherwise known as moderation.

so moderation is the battle that fights off our idols and enables us to reach heavenward each time we choose it. But we have to choose it and we have to choose it a lot of times each day. and to choose something so in-between extremes requires effort, which requires help, which we get from our God, which means moderation and communion with Him go hand in hand.

God blessed us with beautiful, enjoyable means of meeting our needs. He intended for us to enjoy meeting our needs alongside the people we love. He intended for us to meet one another’s needs. He intended for us to bring glory to Him through lives that pulsate and thrive when we meet our needs in healthy fullness. in His infinite love and grace, God gave us sense and experience because He intended for us to get to taste hints of His majesty when we meet our needs in ways that satisfy those senses and experiences. we get to enjoy life and we get to enjoy it most when we lean on Him to help us enjoy it rightly.

how brilliant a design is that ?


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