Wait, What time is it?
One morning, upon waking up, I was bleary-eyed. (Because I suffer with ‘dry eyes’, I put eye ointment into both eyes before sleep that leads to a significant blurry condition in the morning.) I washed and dressed and went to eat breakfast and make my lunch and finally, wide awake, that’s when I saw the stove clock. It said, 4:44! In the words of Charlie Brown, ‘AAUGH!!! What? “I’m exhausted!” That’s funny, I wasn’t exhausted ten minutes ago when I thought it was 5:30 AM? Our minds play such funny tricks on us!
Why is it so scary to wake up really early and then fret that we won’t live through the day because of anticipated exhaustion?! Yes, fret over what will happen if I don’t get more sleep. Well, I was happy to be up and have time to prepare my meals; my breakfast and lunch, my back pack and have time in God’s word and more – all in the course of a morning. I was tired long around 3pm and after finishing a full day of work, went home, crawled into bed and had a lovely nap! And it was all worth it!
As I’m reading in Exodus right now, I noticed that over and over, Moses is told to “Rise early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh, and say to him, Thus says the Lord God of the Hebrews: “Let my people go, that they may serve me.”” (Ex. 8: 20, 9:13). In fact, the words, “Rise Early” is a common start to instructions presented by God.
Abstinence for me includes measuring and monitoring closely what goes into my body. Anonymity is an important part of measuring and monitoring every word that goes out of my mouth. Both require God’s power for restraint!
“If we put bits into the mouths of horses that they may obey us, we guide their whole bodies. Look at the ships too; though they are so great and are driven by harsh winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So too, the tongue is a tiny member and boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire!” (James 3:3-5)
More and more, I realize that what’s happening in my life is that I’m growing and changing and it has a direct correlation to my tongue. Now that I weigh and measure everything I eat (and I am so happy I do because no longer do I have to ask, “Did I eat too much? Did I eat enough?”). I have complete peace about my food and my diet. I have surrendered all decision-making to my Registered dietician and I plan my food accordingly and then follow my plan. It has become clear that God has turned his attention to what comes out of my mouth now. When I grew up, we used to chant, “Sticks and stones can break my bones but names will never harm me!” As a grown up, I’ve learned the truth; my words can do a lot of damage. King Solomon’s Book of Proverbs says, ‘Death and life are in the power of the tongue.’ (18:21) And sadly, just as ‘once the toothpaste is out of the tube, you can’t put it back’, it’s the same with my words. And it’s not just that I may say something harmful or hurtful, but my words are ever connected to the motivation of my heart. “Let the words of my mouth, O Lord, and the meditation of my heart (this speaks to motive), be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14) And so it is my words that tell the world what is going on in my heart. ‘Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks!’ (Mathew 12:34)
The mighty tongue can do all sorts of damage. I’m in a twelve step program and I’m learning to police this tiny member of my body! It seems to all stem from gossip and pride; the motive is not always clear but it’s not the most important thing. Being quiet and monitoring what comes out is! It used to be called, “stirring dissension” but these days they call it “stirring the pot!” (It’s likened to ‘witchy’ behavior.) Proverbs tells us, “Six things the Lord hates, seven which are an abomination to Him. . . “; (It’s worth reading the whole thing.) the seventh abomination is “a man who sows discord among brothers”. (Proverbs 6:16-19)