A few years ago, I stood during an especially moving alter service at my church with my eyes closed and head bowed asking Jesus to help me figure out how to shed unwanted pounds. I’m not talking about losing the ten pounds you put on in winter and drink Slimfast for the entire months of April and May to drop before swimsuit season. I’m talking about losing enough weight to keep from being charged for two seats on a Southwest flight.
At first, I was ashamed I had even asked God for help. I mean, I’m sure He had his hands full healing the sick, finding homes for orphaned children, and soothing the mourning souls of widows. Who in the world was I to take up his time with this silly weight loss thing? All I had to do was give up cupcakes, cheddar cheese-filled casseroles, and anything fried. Add a little exercise and losing 100 pounds should be a piece of cake…bad analogy with the cake thing. How could I bother our Heavenly Father with such trivial nonsense?
My mother in her practical spirituality told me, “God is concerned with what concerns us.” Couldn’t get any simpler than that I suppose but seriously, could it really be that simple? I sure hoped Moma was right because losing weight was not a cake walk - what is it with these cake analogies - must be that episode of Cupcake Wars I just watched on the Food Network. I knew it was going to take more strength than I had to resist hot fudge sundaes at Bobby’s Dairy Dip, Moma’s crispy fried chicken, Sister Shubert rolls, and midnight sackfuls of Krystal’s that left you praying by 3 o’clock in the morning for Jesus to take you and spare you from their heartburn misery.
At first, I thought it was beneath God to ask him to help with something that I should be able to control. I must be incredibly weak if I had to resort to this. Why couldn’t I do this on my own? Why did I have to worry about this in the first place? Why did I get the “heavy set” genes in the family? Why, why, why? In the infinite wisdom of a phrase coined by the Anheuser-Busch company, “Why ask why?” Eventually, I did quit asking God why and started asking him for help.
I guess Jesus wasn’t too busy for me. It’s been a few years and I’m down seventy pounds. Seems like Jesus was concerned with what concerned me after all. Either that or he’s had some down time between healing the sick and feeding the poor.
Turns out Moma was right. Shhhh, that’ll just be our little secret.