Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The House Diet

My dad's been a pretty thin guy all of his life. I dunno why, maybe it has something to do with metabolism or some smart scientific thing like that, but that's just the way he's always been. And he's never had to work hard at it, which I believe is a blessing. Whatever the case, my dad is getting to a point in his life where, if he doesn't work hard to stay in shape, he forms what I like to call the "spare tire." It's not a large amount of weight, but it is there nonetheless. It happens to almost everyone I suppose.

However I noticed a trend in my father. He likes to build houses. Even though that is not strictly his "trade," he enjoys doing it. But whenever he starts to build a house, I have noticed that the pounds slowly shed off of him as he's working. He becomes very passionate about the house and wants to see it through to its completion.

Well I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. I tend to get passionate about whatever project I'm involved in, whether it be building something, playing a sport, or working on an issue. Granted, I'm a pretty lean guy, if I do say so myself, so I don't really lose weight when I get engrossed with these projects. If I were to lose weight... well, let's just say you might not be able to see me if I turned sideways.

But here's what I'm trying to get at: passion. Often, our passions define us. For example, the first thing you think of when I say Angelina Jolie is that she is an actress. That is her passion. Upon a moment's notice you wouldn't think to yourself, "Oh yeah, Angelina - the mother," or "Angelina - the cook." She is defined by her passion - acting.

The Bible has well been aware of this fact since - well, since it was written. Jeremiah 2:5 said to the people of Israel that they had "worshiped worthless idols, only to become worthless themselves." In other words their passion (worthless idols) defined who they were (worthless). You are what you eat. However, by the same token, if one pursues what is noble and holy, that person becomes noble and holy. See what I mean?

The apostle Paul knew quite a bit about passion. In Philippians 1:21, Paul explains, "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." His every waking breath was completely devoted to the cause of Christ. It is the ultimate passion, and it is, in fact, the only passion that truly "delivers," if you will.

Lemme explain: every passion that can be had on God's green earth will always end in what Matt Chandler likes to call the "culdesac of stupidity." Here's what it looks like: someone pursues something and, in the end, it doesn't end up satisfying him. So, instead of finding something else, he figures that more of the same will eventually bring him purpose and meaning.


It is for this reason you see greedy men who fill their bottomless hands with more money. It is for this reason you see madmen in power who never stop at conquering just one nation. It is for this reason you see middle-class families buying bigger and better homes, cars, and wives.

We are insatiable creatures, and we try to fill ourselves with everything but that which will actually work. Only in Christ is there true joy. Only in Christ is there real pleasure. Only in Christ is the last piece of the puzzle a perfect fit.

Now, come often times when I write something which I myself struggle and war with. These are areas that I have not attained the "end goal," and I most certainly don't measure up to what is required of me. This is one of those areas. It is with this in mind, I urge you, brothers and sisters, let us "press on" towards the goal, sharing in our difficulties and in our victories.


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