Happy Monday morning friends — yes, out here in California it’s officially still morning. I’m calling today the first “real” day of 2013, since for me today marks a return to “real life” with the return of my son Adam to his final semester of high school. As I type this, our college-aged son Eric — still home on Christmas break — slumbers upstairs and husband Greg is back to a regular work schedule. The items I’ve been bumping to “tomorrow” on my google calendar have all landed in big red letters on today’s date and the “real world” is ready and waiting.
I have a few blog posts planned for today as I want to share some important information on a few projects, but I’m going to start off the day with a personal update. Many of you have written to me personally to encourage me along my Whole30 challenge. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your prayers and kind comments. I can happily report on Day 7 of the project that I’m feeling strong and very humble. I won’t lie, this has been tough. I was pondering this morning how I’ve possibly completed six days of this without (knowingly) compromising or cheating. As usual, I found my answer in the words of today’s first reading:
You belong to God, children, and you have conquered them,
for the one who is in you
is greater than the one who is in the world.
For inspiration, treat yourself to the entire 3rd and 4th Chapters of 1 John. Was he speaking in this passage about overcoming temptations or such simplistic cravings as the ones I’m facing? No, most certainly not. Yet I’m reminded in reading this passage of 1 John that the things which weigh me down and cause me to make poor choices in my life all too often are born of my own sinfulness. You know them — those seven deadly sins: pride, covetousness, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, and sloth. How often is my choice to overindulge or to make poor choices born out of sloth or covetousness as much as it is out of gluttony?
And yet, there are those words of hope, that “the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world“. Change is possible because his grace is so omnipresent, simply there for the asking. Can I do this on my own? No way. But recognizing those prompts in my life that lead me into “near occasions of sin” in many facets of my weakness — looking them square in the face and hunting them down with His aid — is a baby step towards lasting change.
Maybe you are struggling today with your own forms of temptation. If this is the case, I invite you to join me in a prayerful reading of that beautiful passage of 1 John and a consideration of your own surrender. We belong to Him, as His children. And He is greater than we can ever hope to be. And because of this, change is possible when we trust His will for our lives.