“Thou Shalt Not Want”
By Carolyn Allen
I hope your Easter was a happy one, filled with the blessings of peace and comfort that the Easter message brings. Truly, they are the only comforts that provide any lasting measure of peace.
Here’s an interesting bit of Easter trivia: Do you realize how early Easter was this year? Hard not too! Here’s why: As you may or may not know, Easter is the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox, which is March 20. This dating for Easter is based on the lunar calendar that people used to identify Passover, which is why it moves around on our Roman calendar. Based on this fact, Easter could actually even be one day earlier (March 22), but that’s pretty rare.
Easter this year, on March 23, was the earliest that any of us will see for the rest of our entire lives. And only the most elderly of our population (those over 95) will have ever experienced an earlier Easter, which was in 1913. None of us have ever, or will ever see it a day earlier because the next year Easter will occur on March 23 will be 2228, which is 220 years from now! The last time it was this early was 1913, so only those 95 or older were around for that. The next time it will be any earlier, March 22, will be 2285, 277 years from now. The last time it was on March 22 was 1818. So no one alive today has, or will see, Easter any earlier than it was this year.
This is a blessing for us because the presence of the holiday candy on store shelves was much shorter between Valentines and Easter. News reports indicate that candy manufacturers actually forecast a dip, or rather a “semisweet” sales profit for 2008 due to this calendar fact. Too bad for them, but the good news is that we saved our money and our calories!
The even greater news is that the true blessings of Easter have come into our lives early this year as reminders of eternal things – the only things that bring true comfort and stress relief. As we say farewell to the temptations of Cadbury eggs for another year, it’s patience that we seek.
Today’s Scripture: “But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing … (James 1:4)
Along with holidays with too much candy and the consequential sales afterwards to clear out the store, will there ever be an end to the onslaught of news articles about the obesity crisis getting worse instead of better? For all the talk, education, programs and funding, the statistics for improved health seem almost non-existent.
At the end of every discouraging article, as well as in the promotion of every new product to enhance weight loss success is the caveat that nothing matters until an individual chooses to eat less and move more.
Not-so-new News Flash No.1: The principle of “eat less, move more” is a well-established fact of life about the human body that has applied since Day One, when Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden.
Not-so-new New News Flash No 2: Generally speaking, most people find it very difficult to make healthy living a happy, daily priority when the donuts, Girl Scout cookies, fast food, and massive portions appear without warning at all hours of the day and night in every imaginable location and event.
Not so new News Flash No 3: We want it all! We want good health and fit bodies along with the empty calories that usually taste so good. With our busy lives of service and activity, we want our cozy couches when we finally find time to sit down, rather than to focus on the exercise to burn the calories we’ve consumed.
Not-so-new News Flash No 4: We will always need some easy tricks to find the mental and spiritual resources to carry on with healthy choices.
How about, “The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want” – the 23 rd Psalm!
I love this psalm. It talks about want. Those of us who are compulsive eaters know all about want – as in wanting all kinds of things to eat during all our waking hours. Now, I know it means thou shalt not want , as in thou shalt not go without. But I think we can apply and stretch it a bit further, so that we literally shall not want the things that are not right for us!
In the big picture of mortality, as mentioned above, we know what we want. For ourselves (and those we love) we want healthy weights and healthy bodies. In the smaller picture, we want what looks/tastes/smells good and what everybody else is eating, without the hassles of exercise.
The next time we find ourselves wanting the “little” picture, here are some prayers and phrases to re-find the big picture:
“Heavenly Father, thou art my shepherd and have promised that I shall not want. With that important knowledge will you please bless:
- my spirit with patience to want to follow and persist with my plan and not want the easy way out …
- my body to release cravings and not want want bad habits that lead to extra pounds and a depressed spirit…
- my thoughts to want uplifting visualizations of myself at a healthy weight in attractive clothes that fit and are comfortable – and not want the stretchy pants and jeans that I’ve become dependant upon …
- my hands to want productive activities not want to pick up and put in my mouth unnecessary food that I am sorry about later …
- my appetite to want and be satisfied with appropriate amounts of nutritious, healthy food …and not want empty calories that provide only an addicting taste …
- my muscles to want activity and use and not want to relax and be lazy…
Then close with, “Thank you Lord, in exercising these wants, I shall not want for health and strength.”
Do you believe a prayer like this will be answered? Go back to James 1 and continue with verses 4-8 6! You already know them by heart. Here’s a starter:
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering.
I challenge you to go back and read the rest of the scriptures to find the direction and faith you need to head towards your sneakers and away from the Easter candy remains this week.
Today’s Empowerment : “With my Heavenly Father’s blessing I want only what my body wants – nutritious foods and exercise for health, energy and strength!”
Today’s Journal Prompts: We’re at the end of the first quarter of the year. What are your goals for the next quarter? What size do you want to be wearing, what goals would you like to achieve by the end of June?
Today’s Recipe: Broccoli Italiano (Serves 4 at 60 Calories Each)
Can we get enough of this good stuff? Even kids love cooked “baby trees.” Read through the recipe and think of the vitamins and nutrients coursing through your body.
1 3/4 pounds broccoli
1 1/2 cups firmly packed fresh basil or parsley
1 clove garlic
1 Tbsp. pine nuts or chopped walnuts
1 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
2 tsp. lemon juice
- Break broccoli into florets. Peel and slice stems 1/4 ” thick. Cook broccoli in boiling water or in microwave until crisp-tender. Drain well.
- In a blender, mix basil, garlic, nuts, cheese and chicken broth for 15-20 seconds. Stir in the lemon juice. Pour over the broccoli and toss.
(1 g Fiber; 60 calories; 2 g Fat; 10 g Carb)
2008 Meridian Magazine. All Rights Reserved.