Diet Fad Spirituality.

My mother was big on photographs. She liked to keep them and sort them. She was keeping photo albums long before the recent craze of scrapbooking.

After she passed away 1-1/2 years ago, my oldest sister, Kathy, paid a lady to scan them all into the computer and provided each of us kids a jump drive with all of Mom’s photos on it. There are photos on there that are probably from the 1920’s of both Mom’s and Dad’s families. It is incredible the family history she preserved in photography. There are literally hundreds of pictures she kept.

As I was looking through the pictures a few months ago, slowly looking them over trying to see if I could identify any of the faces, I began to notice something different about the families in the photos as opposed to so many families you see around town now days.

Almost no one in my Mom’s old pictures were overweight. In fact, it wasn’t until the late 70’s, early 80’s that even my immediate family started to swell around the middle. Even in Mom’s old pictures, only the older women started to get a little heavy, and by today’s standards, they were fairly light.

For around 20-25 years, maybe longer, there’s been so many weight loss gimmicks introduced. Many of them have worked, and worked well. People have tried the Adkins Diet, grapefruit diet, Dexatrim pills, acai berries, exercise bicycles, treadmills, they’ve bought gym memberships, and now the latest fad is the P90X workout system. I’ve done several of them myself.

Today, there was a lot of chatter among my friends on Facebook about the P90X workout.  It’s expensive, and like all of the other fads before it, it works. But like all the other fads before it, it will fail.

I don’t know, but I bet in my lifetime I’ve probably seen 30 or 40 pieces of exercise equipment with clothes piled on them and stuffed in a corner, never to be used again. On any given Saturday, drive around to all the garage sales, I’ll bet you’ll see some sort of exercise equipment at every sale.

I’m an advocate of eating right, stopping the junk food, and walking. God made us to eat good food and he made us to walk. Peter and Paul didn’t need a gym membership, they walked. Everywhere. But we don’t want to do that because it’s hard and requires discipline. We want to eat junk, gain weight, pop a magic pill, lose the weight and start the whole process all over again. We don’t want to change the very habits that got us into trouble in the first place.

It’s called Yo-Yo dieting.

For several years now, I’ve seen some sort of correlation between our eating habits and our spiritual habits.

As American Christians we want to eat our spiritual junk food. We want God packaged in a box and delivered to us in quick large portions. We want only the tasty portions that we love to swallow. We want to leave the stuff that doesn’t taste so good, but’s good for us, aside.

Then, suddenly, we’re shocked that a spiritual crisis has come our way and we’re too out of shape to deal with it.

Now we want to sign up for the latest spiritual fad program and receive sudden deliverance, financial peace, or whatever. But we still don’t want to do the disciplines that would have kept us out of trouble in the first place. Even after trouble, we don’t want to study our bible, obey everything written in it, and pray.

We want the latest program in our church to save us.

Just like we’re feeding our physical bodies on the junk that the world has to offer, so too are we feeding our spirits on the same junk of the world. Oh, I know the church served it to us, but it’s still junk just the same. It was designed all along for a quick fix and like a fad diet, it too shall fade.


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