Many of us have been hibernating to an extent over the winter.
Staying indoors by the fire on the cold, dark nights and comfort eating.
Then sometime back in January we got on the bathroom scales and shrieked in horror, we hadn’t thought it was quite that bad.
Then again there were all those crisps and chocolates at Christmas, and tea and toast and biccies at bedtime, and snacks between snacks. Bad habits!
So now it’s time to get out of the elastic waistbands and baggy tops and get in shape. Lent has started and Easter is early this year. Just a month away.
Some of us have been easing our way into it gradually, the week before Pancake Wednesday cutting out supper and snacks between meals. Then we said an emotional farewell to chocolate. Hardest of all has been limiting the intake of bread. We Irish do like our bread!
Butter has been replaced with olive spread and we’ve discovered the supermarket stocks other wondrous alternatives to the fatty treats our bodies crave. Moroccan couscous and Mexican bean soup among other things have made their way into our fridge.
I got on the scales after one week of the new regime expecting great things…
Not an ounce.
I was exactly the same weight as before I started.
The immediate temptation was to grab a cheese sandwich while considering what I was doing wrong but I resisted. You know as well as I do the answer. We have to stick at these things. Time will show the rewards of a disciplined lifestyle.
There are people and things we have prayed for a long time. There seems to be no answer, no discernible change in the situation. It’s tempting to give up, admit defeat or simply not bother any more.
Jesus gave the illustration of a ruthless judge who intervened on behalf of a woman, not because of compassion or concern for justice but simply to get her off his back. Her persistence paid off! And He assures us our Father in heaven is much more ready and willing to help His children when we call for His help. The writer says Jesus told His followers this parable ‘to show them they should always pray (‘keep on praying’) and not give up.’ (Luke 18 v 1)
One of the things I'm noticing as I read a Psalm every day is the repetition, the same themes again and again, the consistency of David's prayers. We may not get the answer we want but we will get the help we need. There will be grace, and people and things will be the better for it.
So let’s keep at it, naming and interceding for our families, friends, colleagues, congregations and communities daily. Our prayers will be answered.
And as for the diet?
I’ll keep you posted.