This is now my sixth day on the road. I am in Versailles, France and have already had several presentations in the homes of past campers. It’s been a very good trip, but being alone can challenge me to be a bit down. In truth I’ve never enjoyed travel, but it’s something I must do for our camp each year.
On this trip I decided to lose some weight by eating less and focusing on no or low carbs. It began well at the airport and on the plane, and my first day in France I did pretty good. But the worst country in the world to start a low-carb diet is France!
This country, like none other, is known for its food. If you think of France, what immediately comes to mind is cheese, baguettes, pastries, champagne, and, in general, the best food in the world. No, this is not a place to start a diet, it’s a place to experience your first heart attack!
So I tried, for three days to avoid the desserts offered to me, to limit myself to just a little bread, to avoid the pastries, etc. But I finally crumbled and ate a croissant. I simply surrendered to the bakery (they seem to be on every corner of every village) and enjoyed my one-day limit of carbs with one croissant.
There are some spiritual similarities. Again, one should not begin (or even attempt to maintain) a diet in France—-or while touring the Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream factory in Vermont! But there are places I should not frequent, websites I should not surf, and companions I should not entertain if I want to maintain my intimacy with Jesus Christ. It’s foolish to deliberately tempt my “fleshly impulses” by being in the wrong place or placing myself in a situation where I know I might falter and succumb to the tempter.
There’s nothing wrong I suppose with breaking a diet from time to time, but you can’t use that justification for deliberately setting yourself up to fail spiritually. To my shame, I have done that in the past——and was always quick to justify my surrender to temptation. But Jesus was tempted——and did not surrender. As one born again I can choose to not surrender to the temptations the enemy throws at me. But as a wiser man, I can choose to stay away from those things that could ensnare me.
All those things that I should not do that I am tempted to do, represent a desire that God placed in our hearts that has became corrupted and perverted after the fall—ie. sin. Sin turned good things upside down and now we must make choices about the right and wrong. Oh to be in a place where the corrupted way of seeing things is gone and the fight is over. But until I get there (heaven) I have to maintain a physical diet and spiritual focus. And when that focus moves from Him to my cravings, my self-pity or my own self-centeredness, I am right where the enemy wants me—that’s where he can really compromise my witness.