Thursday, February 18, 2010

Don’t Get Stuck in the Old

Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

(Philippians 3:13-14, NIV )

The lunar New Year celebration is one big deal for most Chinese here. Whether you think it is significant to celebrate the occasion you can’t escape some traditions. Nevertheless visitation serves as golden opportunity to meet up with family and relatives whom we don’t normally see throughout the year due to our busy culture. As we got ourselves ready for another day of meeting people and sharing the joy of the occasion, the usual call for mummy was heard.

This time one of my daughters whispered to me, “Mum, I need you to help me.” She gave me a serious look. Under her towel wrap, she said again, “Mum, I can’t get this skirt out. It is stuck!” “Stuck? What do you mean?” I gave a puzzled look in return. She undo the towel wrap and truly I was so tickled to see the bright colourful pair of skirt stuck on her. It just couldn’t be removed. We both giggled and thought it was the joke of the year. She had attempted to wear an old skirt which she had outgrown. She has grown. That’s definite. She knew that full well. Somehow that moment, she said she thought she could still give it a try and forced that beautiful skirt up her hip. Horror greeted her when she couldn’t zip up neither could she take it off. We laughed over her silliness as we tried our best to pull off the garment. I reminded her again the stack of appropriate size clothes she has and wondered why she reached out for a smaller alternative. Perhaps it was pretty and she could not let go of it. She took her chance and got stuck!

We yelled for daddy. I needed the extra help. So both of us worked with tremendous effort to remove it while laughing all the way. By then the girl felt awfully silly and a little troubled in case the skirt would not come off. We prayed. We continued the task with all our might, working carefully at every angle and seam till we finally succeeded. We burst into the loudest laughter, and reminded each other “not to get stuck in the old”…leave the past and move on. Put on the new wineskin.

The lunar New Year is a season of newness. Traditional Chinese welcomes new things for the new year. Perhaps some of us are not particular in having new clothes for the season. But it is a good reminder that God grants us newness everyday. A new beginning. A new journey. A new life in Him. A new hope. A new season. No matter how good or beautiful the past season was we need to move on and take hold of better things in the present and even greater ones in the future. Let us echo Paul’s encouragement to the Philippians to forget what is behind and look ahead for the prize.

Welcome the freshness of his spirit and doing in our lives daily.

Heavenly Father, help me to move on and not stuck in the past. I cherish the good memories, but I look forward to the new everyday and move as the Holy Spirit moves. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Intentional Eating

Take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and spelt; put them in a storage jar and use them to make bread for yourself.

(Ezekiel 4:9, NIV)

Less sugar. No sugar.
No preservative.
No articificial flavour and colouring.
Low salt.
Low fat. High calcium.
DHA enriched.

These are some very common health phrases highlighted on grocery packages. Eating right is talked about so frequently over table conversation but generally, people are feasting with all sorts of food now that makes me wonder what are we putting into our body each day. While food and health companies are luring consumers with all their advertised goods, I realized we had gone so far from God’s original plan of eating right. Now we are trying to go back to the naturals and his original plan. He provided all we need when he created the world. Pharmaceutical companies boast of their natural products which give optimum health and aid healing process. Consumers pay through our noses to feel good and have a sense of security that we are in a good state. While some of us need certain supplements for specific reasons, a huge percentage of today’s urban population have neglected good eating habits and many times try to compensate with these health goods. Where have we gone wrong?

All of us need to be responsible for our own diet. It is worship unto God. Daniel was intentional in resolving not to defile himself with the royal food (Daniel 1:8-16) and chose to be nourished with vegetables instead. He proved to be healthier. As God’s child we need to be intentional in eating right. Instead of being succumb to commercial gimmicks, and trying to use short cuts in obtaining good health, let’s evaluate our food diary daily and ask God to help us take care of our body which is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Worship is not just singing some hymns and praises to him on a Sunday. Eating right is worship too.

If we are so used in feeding on junks, let’s ask God to change our taste buds for healthy alternatives.
Yes, I know what you are thinking…it is truly challenging nowadays to maintain constant healthy meals having to take into consideration time and money. But we still need to give our best. Let’s begin with being intentional. Intentional of what we eat which will glorify God as a good steward of our body. We will not be spared from falling ill and death one day due to sin, but while we are living, we are responsible for the food and drinks we consume. Let’s ask God to teach us to be creative in planning our meals.

The Maker of my body, thank you for giving this body. Forgive me for abusing it through unhealthy eating. I resolved in eating right as worship unto you. Help me to plan my meals and not ignore this basic need. In Jesus’ name. Amen.