When the devil reminds you of your past…remind him of his future!
Whether or not we fully appreciate it, each of us might be merely one step, decision or meeting away from breaking through to something very special in our lives. When I forget this, it helps when I turn to the inspirational people in my life and their stories. When I do, I am quickly reminded to dig deep and find the strength to hold to whatever dream I find myself willing to let go of.
I recall meeting a friend for lunch in December of 2015. By the time I sat down at our table, the waitress was already serving us a plateful of hanky pankys. The mere mention of that sausage & cheese explosion makes me consider putting a cardiologist on speed-dial.
Forty minutes into lunch and 4,500 calories later, my friend leveled with me and admitted to being just two breakfast biscuits away from weighing four hundred pounds. He wanted out of his body but he didn’t know how to break what promised to be lethal eating habits. His addiction to food had him on the ropes; exhausted and ready to bail on his faint hope for regaining his health. I wrote about him weeks after our lunch that afternoon. It was the Crux entitled “WHAT’S EATING ME?”
This past week, he and I again met for lunch. His story has been completely rewritten. I was stunned by his progress and his new physical form. He said to me, “TD, ever since that day when I committed to walking away from the insanity, I have tracked every single morsel of food that has entered my mouth.” He has lost more than ninety pounds in just over one year and admits to feeling as if he has only just begun his fitness journey. For a second, imagine that you have a forty-five-pound dumbbell in each of your hands. It is shocking that this approximates the excess body mass that my friend was carrying around with him day after day. Is there any wonder that he was unhappy and worn out?
What is it that you find yourself battling? What is that one thing that has been pummeling you? What has you feeling defeated as a result of your countless attempts to get to the “other side” of your biggest struggle?
We risk our health and happiness when we begin to tell ourselves that we are closer to our end than to our beginning and wonder… what’s the point? We can play dead as adults, as though someone was coming for us. Forgetting that similar to hide-n-seek when we were little, just because we’ve hidden ourselves under the bed doesn’t mean that the person chasing us won’t find us.
Here are some additional personal struggles other friends and some fellow Crux readers have shared with me recently:
- Apathy at work: Am I making a difference? Do I like what I do? Do I get to use my gifts in between 8am. and 5pm.?
- Financial insolvency: Why are there more days in the month than I have money for? How can I get out of this hole I am in?
- Spiritual complacency: Does God care? Do I know where I came from or where I am headed? How do I make time for prayer and solitude?
- Parenting challenges: Our children don’t come with a handbook and more than ever, they are mobile! Are we resourceful? Do we invest the time required to RAISE our children?
- Relationship dysfunctions: Maturity is hard to come by; we can all be selfish. Good relationships are the result of our intentional efforts; how hard are we working to show up?
- Addictions: There are too many to name here; all are substitutes for our past legitimate suffering. What hole are we trying to fill with our harmful obsessions?
- Loneliness: We need not be alone in order to feel lonely. It is a risk to let others to really know us. Will we drop below the daily, “I’m fine” and “Things are good!” to be real?
- Unfathomable grief: On its face, death doesn’t make sense. We are never ready to lose the people we love. The younger they are, the more it breaks our hearts. How can I make sense of it?
- Health crises: We are fragile. Health is our greatest gift but sadly we don’t appreciate it or try to protect it until it is nearly gone. Where do we show-up in our wellness equation?
- Perfectionism: We try to control the outsides when our insides feel inadequate. Can we consider that the elusive perfect is the enemy of the really good which is actually attainable?
We want to rise above these challenges, but we just don’t always know what our first step should be. Over the next 10 weeks I intend to delve into the 10 struggles I have listed above. I hope each week will provide both a lens and a boost for our personal journeys. Each week will include a specific person’s story and the game-plan they followed to begin their own restoration and eventual transformation. I trust that their triumphs will be a gift for the journey.
Thomas “TD” Dierker
Live like you’re dying…. cause you are!