A waist is a terrible thing to mind. - Jane Caminos
I thought this quote was witty. I have never ever really ever had to worry about my waist because of my gluten intolerance that I have endured for the past 15 years. I was only able to mostly eat food that was good for you. But, since I have been back eating gluten again (not sure if you knew that or not), my wife has started calling me ‘fatty.’ J It is crazy how a little here and a little there can make some disturbing long term noticeable differences, especially around the waist area. At almost 40, I feel my body little by little wasting away, and it seems that that waste is showing at the waist.
It is interesting that the word waist is the same word, in sound at least, as the word waste. I wonder if the word waist and the word waste were developed like that intentionally. It’s as if the one word ‘waist’ is a mirror or reflection or a barometer of the other ‘waste.’ For example, you waste your life by over-eating lots of food, your waist will show it. You waste your body by not taking good care of it, your waist will show it. It is crazy how a little wasting of time here and wasting of time there makes a huge difference of a wasted life over time. Wasted time will always be reflected somewhere else, and all too often that place is the waist.
It is interesting that Jesus seems to capture this idea when he compared wasting energy for things that fill the waist. John 6:27 in the Message version says: “Don’t waste your energy striving for perishable food like that. Work for the food that sticks with you, food that nourishes your lasting life, food the Son of Man provides. He and what he does are guaranteed by God the Father to last.” Jesus is saying don’t waste your life for food that only grows your waist. Don’t make food or drink or money or hobbies the source of your life. Instead work for food that last forever, redeemed in new body, with a new waist, that reflects the good that you lived for and that is not forgotten.
I like how Paul in Philippians compares living for the waist and thus wasting your life versus living for eternity and being transformed in a Christ-Exalting way. Check out the Message version of Philippians 3:18-21: “All they want is easy street. They hate Christ’s Cross. But easy street is a dead-end street. Those who live there make their bellies their gods; belches are their praise; all they can think of is their appetites. 20–21 But there’s far more to life for us. We’re citizens of high heaven! We’re waiting the arrival of the Savior, the Master, Jesus Christ, who will transform our earthy bodies into glorious bodies like his own. He’ll make us beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which he is putting everything as it should be, under and around him.”
It seems an appropriate time for all of us to think about living for eternity in a time of year when an eternal event, Christmas, becomes a temporary opportunity to indulge our stomachs. Kind of ironic, isn’t it, how we can long to be satisfied with the food that never satisfies and never really realize it?
May we so gorge in the eternal food this holiday, reveling in Jesus, lingering in His Word, pondering the gift of salvation and the miracle of Christmas that it changes our holiday traditions. May our love for the eternal food overwhelming satisfy more than the temporarys of this holiday. And may the Word of God lead us to a changed perspective so that we spend our time differently this season. May it lead us to helping feed those who are hungry, caring for the lonely who are hungry for relationships and reaching out to our hungry-for-Jesus neighbors, visiting senior’s homes who are hungry for companionship and writing letters to our soldiers who are hungry for words from home. May we spend ourselves to fill the hungry that we are stuffed to overflowing.
It will help to remember these words this holiday season from the prophet Isaiah from Isaiah 58:10: “…if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday” May we be lights for Jesus this holiday season as we spend ourselves feeding and satisfying the needs of others and being fed in the process. Merry Christmas to you and a Merrier Christmas to those who will be blessed by you this season.