Monday, November 29, 2010

Not As Hard As It Seems

I recently read the best selling book about food by journalist, Michael Pollan, called 'Food Rules'. Pollan’s approach to food is simple. In an age of complicated diet and nutritional theories, Pollan’s approach can be summed up in one sentence:

Eat food (by which he generally means simple, non-processed food that your grandmother would recognise), mostly vegetables (meaning less meat and more fresh vegetables and fruit) and not too much (meaning not too much).

His short book includes advice like spending more time on the edges of the supermarket where the fresh food is and less time in the middle where the processed food abounds. This makes common sense but I have found it is easier to read than actually put into practice.

Strangely we often find in life that the theory is much simpler than the practice.

Losing weight (or at least not gaining weight) is really quite simple - we need to exercise more and eat less. Simple yes, in theory, but not so simple in practice.

Likewise if we want our finances to improve, it's also really obvious - spend less than you earn and save and invest what is left over (or at least use that to reduce personal debt). Of course many of us don’t have any left over, so we have only two options – either try to earn more or spend less. Simple yes, but not always so simple to do.

When it comes to knowing God, things are also not that complicated.

Two words explain what we need to do to relate to God: believe and repent. We need to believe that God is God and repent of the view that we are God. We need to believe that God’s ways are best and repent of our foolish and stubborn rebellion. We need to believe that our sins have separated us from the love of God and that our only chance for rescue is the forgiveness offered through Christ. We need to believe that without God we are lost. We need to turn away from our morality of convenience and return to God’s ways that, after all, are for our best. Simple no, but God is even willing to pour out His Holy Spirit into our lives, that we might know His power, even in our weakness.

Simple yes, but somehow a stubbornness exists within the human soul, that thinks we can eat as much as we want, that thinks we can spend as much as we want, and that thinks that we know a lot more than everyone else, including God.

Humility is a very underrated virtue.

“Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2: 38

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