vanity… all things are vanity

Tonight, I attended a Theology of the Body session at a neighboring parish with my hubby.  This was the 4th week of this series and we are going to help us maintain and expand our knowledge of TOB.  Honestly, I debated whether to even go tonight for I haven’t been in the best of moods all day.  In fact, I’ve been in a pretty lousy mood.  Not overly lousy and mean to others this time, but just a quiet, not really wanting to participate in anything kind of mood.

Part of my frustration started when I got on the scale again today and got the same number again for the 4th day in a row.  *sigh*  On this diet protocol, when you stay solid for 4 days with no loss, that 4th day becomes an “apple” day.  Basically, that means you eat nothing that day but apples.  In fact, no more than 6 apples.  And my stomach started the day rumbling and hungry.  The injection didn’t help much and my stomach was so loud growling while I was working with the girls in school, that they kept looking at me and asking me if I was okay.   That, of course, didn’t help my mood because I was doing what I could to ignore the hunger and this just kept bringing it up again. Even after eating 2 apples at lunch, I was still hungry and my stomach was again growling within an hour.  This wasn’t supposed to be happening!  The meds were supposed to keep that from happening.  So, my mental voice started thinking, “It’s just me.  I’m the one who is the problem here.  As usual, this diet plan isn’t going to work for me either just as none of the others have worked either.  I might as well just stop and get something to eat.  At least, then I won’t have to deal with my growling stomach.”

As the day went on, my mood didn’t improve and my hunger didn’t go away.  But, tonight at the TOB session, I heard something that struck me.  In the program, Christopher West talks about the ethos and how we have to educate, form, and help our ethos.  In part, that is why hubby and I have attended and keep attending these TOB talks.  It is to help our inner moral gauge (our ethos) to have a supportive environment to live our lives the way God intends vs the way society encourages.

I can’t help but apply that concept to this diet as well.  My internal whining is just that — whining.  Other quieter whines that have gone through my mind have included… no one has even noticed that I have lost weight… this is just another fad diet that is out there and I got sucked into hoping that this might actually be the one to work… everyone else is getting to eat pizza, I want some too… It won’t hurt to cheat this once – I haven’t cheated yet so I deserve it! … No one understands just how hard this is to do … and on… and on…. and on….  The tapes don’t ever stop as they are on a recurring thread/theme.

But, as I reflected on some of the discussion during the TOB session and then on some discussion hubby and I had with another member of the group afterwards, I can’t help but recognize the reality of what today has been for me.  Internally, it has been all about me.  How I feel.  How I deserve xyz.  The rationalizations.  The comments to others around me about this being an apple day.  This is something that is NOT acceptable to me but to which I am VERY susceptible.  I need to pull myself off of that pedestal and realize that humility is of the Lord, not vanity.

In fact, in John 14, Jesus says,

The Father who dwells in me is doing his works.
Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me,
or else, believe because of the works themselves.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever believes in me will do the works that I do,

THIS is the person I want to be.  I want to do the Lord’s works, not mine.  I want the Father to dwell in me and do his works.  I want to be less and want God to be more.

Again, as today’s Scripture says,

And whatever you ask in my name, I will do,
so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

So, Lord, I’m asking!  Help me banish the vanity that I fight.  Help me to not want to be the focus of the attention but to turn all attention to You!  Only through Your grace is this possible!  Thank you for loving me enough to help me understand this and to live this.

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