Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Body and the Spirit

So, I have a confession to make.  I've fallen off the band wagon.  In one of my earlier posts, I admitted that I was a food addict.  Naming that out loud was hard to do, but made a huge difference for me.

My life has been crazy since about November.  I lost my grandmother, then got a really nasty cold and then came the holidays.  In the middle of all of this, I interviewed and got a new job!  I'm incredibly excited (and overwhelmed) to be the new pastor of Sharon Baptist Church in Smithfield, NC starting April 1st.

The truth is though, I did not handle all of this stress very well and I slowly started turning to food to make myself feel better.  It started harmlessly, as I learned how to make many of my favorite Christmas treats gluten free.  But when the stress started coming, I could not stop the eating.   The more I needed to escape the stress, the more junk I ate, and the worse I felt.

Tomorrow marks the start of the season of lent in the church.  It is the season to make sacrifices.  It is a season of deep reflection to remember what Christ gave up for us.  As a tradition, christians give up something or take on a new discipline to encourage us to focus on Christ and his sacrifice.

These next forty days mark the end of my time in campus ministry.  I've been involved in campus ministry since I was seventeen.  Not only will I take a team to Manhattan for a mission trip, help set up student leadership for next year and try to leave a job well, but I will also be getting my first house ready and putting it on the market to sale and transition into a new position as pastor.  I wasn't even sure women should be pastors ten years ago.  While I am excited about the possibilities that are ahead, this is an overwhelming time.  My normal response would be to continue eating to make myself feel better, sleep as much as I can, and avoid making the time for exercise.  

This season for lent I commit to make intentional choices about the food I eat.  There will be some good eaten in Manhattan...I mean, really....but I will make good choices about what and how much I eat.  I commit to exercise every day.  This is not just an exercise to make myself feel better (a reason many choose to commit to something or give something up for lent) but I commit to honor my body and honor my soul while I do it.  I have downloaded a number of sermons from Itunes U to listen to or will listen to sacred music.  The purpose is not just to be healthier but to combine the body and the spirit...which I believe honors the lenten spirit.  How will you unite body and spirit?

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