The Struggle Is Real

I'm on a diet this month--a particularly cruel one, to be exact.  It's called the Whole 30 diet, and it prohibits any processed food, sugar, gluten, dairy, and alcohol.  

I'll give you one guess as to which one of those things I miss the most. It's sugar.  You picked alcohol, I bet.  Shame on you.  

I am going to be on this Bataan-march of a diet for thirty days, and I am told that in that short amount of time I will be detoxed from sugar, thinner and my skin will be purer and filled with a healthy glow.  

Here's what I know.  I can do this diet for thirty days, no problem.  On Halloween, I'll be done, detoxed and good to go from then on... at least that's the story I'm telling myself. 

What I know deep down, however, is that if I am going to truly be transformed, it will be a process that lasts a bit longer than thirty days.   

We all want to believe that we can quickly and easily fix all our bad habits, develop a healthy lifestyle and change our lives in thirty days or less.  

In the same way, we also want spiritual transformation and maturity overnight.  We don't want to go through the crucible of experience, challenge and trial---we just want the results without having to go through anything uncomfortable.  

W. Phillip Keller once wrote: 

"We are a restless generation.  We of the West want and insist on instant results.  We demand a quick fix.  We look for shortcuts and immediate results.  We are quite sure we can be a rough slab of stone today and a polished gemstone tomorrow."  

But if you and I want to see a real and lasting transformation in our life of faith, we have to commit to a longer process.  It comes down to daily dying to ourselves and putting others first.  It comes down to a constant, open-ended conversation with God all day, every day.  

It comes down to knowing that whatever we are going through is shaping us, molding us and polishing us into God's beautiful handiwork.  

May you re-vision your day today in light of this challenging, but amazing truth.  May you see the obstacles and challenges you face as part of a larger process to draw you closer to God and to your true humanity.  

And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.


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