It was silent, and I couldn’t see it, and I could not hear it. The water was cool and calm, easily flowing down the mighty river. The sun was shining and warming my face while the locusts buzzed, the birds sang, and a cool summer breeze blew through my hair. The scenery was wonderful.
In reality, I should have been hearing the ominous music from the movie “Jaws” playing in the background, because of what was approaching. I could hear fast-moving water ahead. Until now, my companion and I were oblivious, but there they were, rapids! The rushing noise made my heart start pounding. I started shouting to the guy in the back of the canoe, “STEER TO THE LEFT, STEER TO THE LEFT!” where the calm water was. But instead, the canoe was heading right for the rapids!
It was too late. We cascaded over rocks and waves. Then our flimsy canoe hit a concrete pillar from a bridge above and I was suddenly sucked into an undercurrent. I could not see because I was no longer in the canoe. I was under it, grabbing, gasping, thinking “This is it, I’m going to drown!” The water kept pulling me under as I clung to the boat.
Suddenly, in a moment of clarity, I thought to stand up! I stood up and pushed the canoe off of me, only to find that the water was shallow ~ only three feet deep.
By that time, all of my belongings for the trip had floated away and disappeared into the distance. I vowed never to go canoeing again, much less with that guy. But, I was alive! I returned home wet, muddy, and mad. The trip wasn’t all that I thought it would be.
The scenery was no longer picturesque.
What made me think back to a high school blind date, canoe-trip-gone-wrong, and dieting? It was the thoughts about the undercurrent. I have come to believe, as I’ve learned to renew my mind in Thin Within, that there are some main “undercurrent” lies that all diets seem to have.
Those lies are:
“If you eat this and not that, you will lose weight.”
“If you don’t eat this way, you will be overweight forever.”
Here’s another good one:
“If you consume our very pricey product and stay on it forever, your weight problems will vanish,” along with my money, I might add, just like my belongings that drifted away down river.
But, for so long, I didn’t really hear those lies, just like I didn’t hear the “Jaws” music. What I heard were the false promises. I would hear how easy and fun it would be to do their eating plan and workout. Before and after pictures of group members would mesmerize me and secretly make me wish that it was me in the photograph. I would hear “This is the good life, come join us. We’ll save you!” Sadly, I would hear what I wanted to hear.
I really could not hear the fast-moving waters ahead or feel the undercurrent before I got swept away by those other plans. As a result, God allowed me to “crash” many times before I was willing follow His lead.
Once I was ready to part with weight-loss plans that were failing me, God asked me to simply “listen” to Him. He asked me to hold onto Him and not the diet gurus.
Here is where I read this: In Deuteronomy 30 verse 20, It says, “Listen to His voice and hold fast to Him.” Him being God the Father. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “hold fast” as “Something to which something else may be firmly secured“. I was holding fast to the canoe and had to let go to be saved. I now know, that I cannot hold fast to a diet or diet expert and truly hold fast to God at the same time. I need to let go, then firmly attach myself to Him.
I have also learned that I must shut out the voices of the world in order to hear Him better and in order to hear the lies that I was believing. I’m reminded, that if I am His sheep, I will listen to his voice (John 10:27). But, I had to do that by being intentional, getting out of the rushing waters, unloading diet books, magazines, social media groups, and anything that would crowd out the voice of God. Recently, I realized that even thinking about the number on the scale was taking space in my thought life. I decided to stop weighing so that I could stop even thinking about that number.
In the end, I’m thankful that God allowed me to experiment. He let me see just how shallow and useless those other plans that I tried to follow really were. When all is said and done, they didn’t get to the heart of why I was in the overweight and, at times, underweight condition that I was in and the results were always temporary.
Because of Thin Within, I have been willing to hear God warn me of what is ahead if I continued to follow the wrong messages. By committing myself to classes, support groups, and renewing my mind through those and other means, God continues to reveal the lies, and help me replace them with His truths through His Word, and other participants.
I have a feeling that it will be a life-long trip down river for me. But the scenery is amazing! I have been slowly releasing weight according to His time table and not mine; according to His ways, not the ways of the world.
I have been eating foods I enjoy and not what someone else says I should eat. Thin Within is the good life!
So, where do you find yourself today? Are you in the canoe going down the stream and going in and out of diets? Are you hitting the rapids and crumbling emotionally from listening to the world? Are you frustrated with the temporary results and watching your efforts and money go down the river? Or are you listening and hearing the Lord say “Stand UP, that water is shallow”?
Decide to intentionally listen to God today and, as the scripture says, hold fast to Him!