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Portion management

There are so many people “watching their weight” these days. They are not eating this, cutting out that; substituting for this, selecting out that. We study and read “the latest” about what’s in and what’s not in nutrition. Everybody has got advice, and it’s for sale. We’re desperate. Billions of dollars desperate. And we know the answer is in there. We just have to figure it out. After all, 20 years ago, we didn’t have this problem, so something has changed. Is it us? We are voracious people, after all. Helping ourselves to heaping servings of life. Living large. Doing it all. Drinking it all in.

I’m not sure that’s the problem, at least not the whole problem. We are meant to live life abundantly, to embrace all we’ve been given. Not to be ashamed of it. Not to defer or go halfway. ‘Give it all you’ve got’ still works in all circumstances. ‘Be all you can be’ is still a great motto, Army.

I just think we have gotten out of touch with our portion. We grew up eating what was on our plates (because “children were starving in India”) and the plates have gotten larger. We’re still finishing, but now it’s more. But more is what we want, right? Because that means we are getting more for our money. This is a good value, we convince ourselves, so why not order the whole meal? Why not supersize it? Why not buy it in bulk?

And then when we have it we don’t want to waste it. Others are starving, after all. So we consume, and not only all that is on our plate. We

  • drink all in our cup
  • order dessert because it’s “included”
  • take the call because it’s coming in
  • check messages because they are blinking
  • access notifications because they are mounting

Just to clear things away and to leave nothing undone. But instead of feeling satisfied we feel sick. Because we have let circumstances speak to us about portion. We didn’t question whether all that needed eating, drinking, addressing or response. It said so, so we did. That way, we don’t miss anything and don’t miss out on anything.

We are operating on autopilot, but have we any idea we are heading straight for the mountain? 

Ah, this generation that is full of questions but doesn’t question their portion. Well, except to compare it in size to their neighbor’s portion.

What if our starting point was …

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. ~Psalm 16:5

“Chosen portion.” Choosing may require un-choosing. Will power may require ‘won’t power’. What if we knew our plate was just the right size? What if we were already assured that what we have and who we are is enough? How would we answer…

  • Am I hungry?
  • Am I thirsty?
  • Can that wait?
  • Do I really need to?

It may be as simple as shrinking the size of the plate on which I serve myself. If this is all the space I have, what belongs here? Then I could feel completely free to enjoy every last morsel.

My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. ~ Psalm 73:26

When Christ sets all our transgressions to zero, we can address our weight

One size fits all. That’s what my daughter told me when I mentioned my desire to purchase some yoga pants. I am a bit behind the times. Still hanging out in my Adidas track pants. Comfort, yes, fashion not so much. She was offering to let me wear hers while she is traveling abroad for several months. She is 20, slim and fit. One size, really?

So, while I avoid the expected disappointment of what I’ll look like when I try these things on, I am chewing on the one-size phenomenon. Because here in America, one size usually means, “Super-size it, please.”

And isn’t that interesting? We’ve got two concepts battling here:

  • We’ve lumped together the small to medium to medium-large sizes, so more people “feel” small. Elastic is all the rage, right?
  • Our choice for movie popcorn starts at large, then extra-large and jumbo -so we can get “more for our money.” Of course, then there’s the ‘we can’t waste it’ plea bargain, so we ‘waist it.’ And now we are back to the elastic, right?

No question, we are a country obsessed with our weight, all trying to fit into our jeans. Or we used to, but the designers have managed that problem for us, too. They’ve lowered the waist line (calling it modern fit) to rid us of unsightly “muffin-top” and now jeans are made of “stretchy” denim. So we don’t have to feel the unforgiveness of a fabric that stays the same size regardless of ours. As we grow, so do our jeans. Now we’re back to yoga pants.

One size fits all. It’s just tough to buy that. Because I look around and see all sorts of shapes and sizes. Perhaps our problem is with the notion that one size should fit all, that one size is our goal. Well, that’s a beginning anyway.

The next thing is that nasty sense of compression. It’s uncomfortable, the threads that bind us. We resist “stepping on the scale.” We don’t like to have a standardized measure of ourselves. Because it tells us the truth. Perhaps a truth we don’t want to hear. Can we please just admit this? And then take the next step: sever the link between over-weight and bad-person.

I have had several close friends come to terms with this recently, that they don’t like how they measure and they want to make a change. Supersizing their wardrobe was hurting, not helping. Their first step was getting on the scale. Perhaps in the privacy of their home, absent the prying eyes of society but in plain view of the Christ they knew.

That was a re-calibrating moment.

Calibration. That brings me back to the lab when I used to weigh the chemicals that were to compose the test solution I was studying. We calibrated the scales so they would weigh precisely. Then, we tared them, by placing the measuring paper or container on the scale first and re-setting the scales to zero. So it wouldn’t confound our measurement.

The bodies we are in are our physical containers, essential ingredients for the living of earthly life and meant to come with us on the journey beyond. But they are tared when we put them on the Christ scale. Christ sets all our transgressions to zero, when we climb on His scale and ask.

Supersizing may be doing us in, but not for the reasons we think. It’s allowing us to avoid the moment of measure, and denying us the opportunity for re-calibration  Which may be the greatest moment of love any of us ever knows.

We’re all meant to be One in Christ. Maybe the one size fits all folks are onto something. Excuse me while I go try on those yoga pants.

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