How many times have you heard, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again”? For many New Englanders, it’s a kind of mantra–like “pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps,” which, when you think about it, is an impossible task. People may try to lose weight, stop smoking, cut back on caffeine, or get pregnant. But not really. They either do lose weight, stop smoking, cut back on caffeine, get pregnant or not.
While this is a cute chart, every step until the top is an unsuccessful not. Only the top is a successful do.
Back on April 21st, I had a car accident when I blanked out at the wheel and drove my car off the road. While I never appeared to lose consciousness, I did lose a little over three days of memory. Subsequent testing seem to indicate that I have a predisposition for seizures. Not the cardiac or pulmonary issues that I thought might be the cause, but something new. Though it had nothing to do with the accident, my primary care physician, cardiologist, pulmonary specialist and neurologist all agreed that it was time for me to lose weight. At the time of the appointments, my weight was 236. Since I am only 5’7″ tall, that officially qualified me as obese. Me…a former runner and coach. Somehow I had let myself slowly add the pounds over the years. And the older I got, the slower my metabolism functioned and the tougher it became to lose weight.
This time I remembered Matthew 19:26, Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” Now I realize that Jesus was talking about rich men getting into the Kingdom of Heaven (or camels fitting through the eye of a needle), but I thought if God could squeeze a camel through the eye of a needle, He could certainly squeeze me into a smaller belt size. But did I have the faith to believe? When the apostles had a problem with too little faith, they said to the Lord, “Show us how to increase our faith.”The Lord answered, “If you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘May you be uprooted and thrown into the sea,’ and it would obey you! (Luke 17:5-6) Everyone (including me) has a measure of faith–even if it only the size of a mustard seed. If that mustard seed faith can cause a mulberry tree to be thrown into the sea, it should certainly be able to throw a few pounds by the wayside.
I finally realized that faith isn’t faith at all until you act on it. There is no “trying.” It is either do or not do. So in a little over two months ago I decided to do. As of today, I have lost 21 pounds. I’ve got a long way to go and the past two months haven’t been without setbacks. At one point I got down to 210, but I put five pounds back on in the past week. So it is time for me to refocus and remember to ask of God, then to act in faith. “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father (John 14:12-13). It may not be completed here on earth, but in Heaven it is already finished.