Sunday, September 20, 2009

One glass of water at a time.

When my brothers family and I moved to San Antonio, we immediately started working on our health. We are flat broke with all the movement and job changes, so some of the decisions were easy. No soda, only water to drink and we didn't eat seconds on foods simply so the kids could have more to eat.

That did a lot for us.

We began riding bikes, playing together outside (basketball, kickball, etc.) and one of us even tried to kill themselves multiple times just running up and down the stairs (it wasn't me).

We haven't been here quite 4 months yet, and all of us have lost at least 30 lbs. Some of us even more than that.

But then I go to visit my parents.

They have not adopted healthy ways at all. In cooking scrambled eggs one morning my dad actually dumped a half a cup of bacon grease into the eggs so "they will taste like bacon". My mom, whose alzheimers doesn't let her remember one moment from the next constantly pours Dr Thunder (the cheap Dr Pepper knockoff) every time I turn around. And ice cream seems to be on the menu for every meal. Literally, the evening meal Saturday night consisted of cake and ice cream.

It would be the easiest thing in the world to say "I'm just visiting, I'll drink their soda, I'll eat their sugary desserts and I'll swallow my scrambled grease egg.

But here's the deal... my ways are better than theirs. Their meals are unhealthy, bad for the body, and leads to physical problems. The whole reason I am eating right and being more active is because I choose to live a better life. I choose to be healthier and thus, hopefully, have less physical problems. I believe a healthy lifestyle is important.

So if I go to someone elses home and abandon my healthy lifestyle for the visit... well, I'm not only hurting myself but maybe I'm not clear about my reasons for doing what I do. Am I living healthily only because my environment is a healthy one? Do my habits change because of my environment?

And then I realized how easy it is for us to do that as Christians.

We're Christians... super spiritual, quick to pray and talk about how good God is when we're surrounded by our brothers and sisters in Christ. But put us in another environment and we tend to "Well, I'm just visiting, I'll just go with the flow and pick back up my good lifestyle when I get back home".

I've made it a habit to take fruit with me when I visit my parents now. I refuse their sodas to the point that I (while feeling badly about it) pour it down the drain when it's poured for me. I drink my water, I eat my fruit while they get another bowl of ice cream. I remain faithful to what I believe is important and necessary while I'm there.

And do you know what happened?

This weekend they had already stocked the fridge with fruit.
And dad is constantly commenting about what I will and won't eat.
Yet I've never really said anything.
I just remained who I was in front of them, and it was noticeable.

So today, I encourage you to be exactly who you are. Don't change it because you're around people that don't agree. And if they remark that they should be reading their Bible more when they see you sit down and read yours, don't worry about making them feel guilty. You didn't. The Holy Spirit did.
And as long as you do what is right, always, no matter what environment you are in... you will begin to change that environment some.
What's the point of being peculiar if no one sees your peculiarities?

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