“Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth…So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you…Since God chose you to be holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves in tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” (Colossians 3: 2, 5, 12-13, NLT)
“So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives then. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.” (Galatians 5:16, NLT)
For almost a year now, I have been on a journey toward achieving a “happy tummy.” This journey can be divided into two parts—eating right and exercising regularly. Finding the right eating plan that works for my system was the easy part. The focus of my "happy tummy" journey is to consume foods that make my tummy and body feel good. I avoid foods that cause bloating, nausea, or any other discomfort.
As I have grown older, I have realized that certain foods do not go well with my system, causing discomfort, or even breakouts. This insight has helped me develop a simple eating plan that includes more vegetables and protein and less sugar and dairy. My tummy seems to be happy with this approach and I feel great overall.
However, I’ve encountered a problem lately. I really dislike exercising! Full disclosure, I hate it. The thought of adjusting my schedule to make time for a 30 to 60-minute gym session repels me. Moreover, it's tough to find the right equipment to use or an exercise routine that is suitable for my aging body. Lastly, I have to push myself to finish the workout, which is the worst part of the whole ordeal.
The good news is, I’ve discovered I’ve grown to love the final outcomes of my efforts. As a result, I have a happier stomach and have also managed to lose weight. I have found that when I focus on the end results, such as feeling better, consuming healthier food, and losing weight, it motivates me to keep going until the end. My spiritual journey with Jesus Christ is a lot like my journey of achieving a happy stomach. It requires effort to grow in Christ, to become more like Him and to share His teachings with others. If I think about all the work I need to put in, I may feel discouraged and overwhelmed, fearing that I might not be able to accomplish the task.
There are days when I lose sight of my goal and fail to pursue Jesus or be a blessing to others. These are the days when I am not fully the woman God intended me to be. Colossians 3:2 reminds me to focus on the things of heaven rather than those of the earth.
When I fix my gaze on Jesus, I am less likely to get distracted. I strive to embody the qualities of Colossians 3:12—merciful, kind, gentle, and patient—and extend grace to others in their humanity. Looking to Jesus helps me to be guided more fully by the Holy Spirit in my actions. Being closer to God makes me feel focused, full, and satisfied, like a woman who just enjoyed a hearty feast and has a “happy tummy.”
Prayer: Dear Jesus, help me to focus on You, not my circumstances, as I journey toward my goals. Show me how to be content, and grateful, to push past discomfort to reach what I set out to accomplish. Amen.
Your Turn: Have you been facing any difficulties in achieving your goals? On the other hand, have you managed to succeed in any areas? I would love to know what measures you took to overcome any obstacles that you encountered.