The Curse of My American Weight


Tuesday night marked its being two-weeks since I returned to St. Vincent and I’ve been incredibly busy getting my barrels unpacked, signing a contract on a rental home in Barrouallie, and purchasing furniture along with appliances. Thankfully a Church member has allowed me to stay at her rental property for a few weeks in a nearby area pronounced “Curtain” while the house is getting set up…looking forward to moving in next Wednesday.

The only problem with the Curtain property is it happens to be a fifteen minute walk from Barrouallie and has no internet. So checking an email or sending updates meant I would arrive in town soaked with sweat and totally out of breath 🙂

**Though the walk from Curtain to Barrouallie wasn’t always fun, after doing it for two-weeks I can see how God is using it for His Glory,

While in the States I went out of my way to indulge in junk food, going as far as to instagram Krispie Creme donuts that went along with my pepperoni pizza the day before flying back. This is partly because you can’t get Krispie Creme or a Little Ceaser’s five-dollar pizza in St. Vincent, however I also knew it wouldn’t take long to lose all those pounds I packed on.

While the weight is coming off fast my being out of shape because of over-indulgence has affected the ministry in another unexpected way.

It hasn’t affected my relationships with the people though they greatly enjoy making fun of my added weight [1]and agreeing that America had made me fat. Instead those extra pounds kept me from having the self-discipline in other areas that are necessary for ministry.

It’s easy to forget that missions is a very active type of ministry with a long list of needs to meet, people to care for, and projects to complete. The need for physical fitness is even greater in SVG where you experience a tropical climate, and people normally walk from one place to another [2].

However this isn’t too serious of an issue because most of that extra weights lost within a month (I’ve already lost most of mine). The real issue is my American weight (indulging in junk food) got me out of the practice of self-discipline

Jerry Bridges in his classic book “A Pursuit of Holiness” says this about our connection with physical discipline and Holiness in other areas of life.

”As we become soft and lazy in our bodies, we tend to become soft and lazy spiritually. When Paul talked about making his body his slave, so that after having preached to others he himself would not be disqualified, he was not thinking about physical disqualification, but spiritual. He knew well that physical softness inevitably leads to spiritual softness. When the body is pampered and indulged, the instincts and passions of the body tend to get the upper hand and dominate our thoughts and actions. “ Bridges, Jerry (2014–02–01). The Pursuit of Holiness: Run in Such a Way as to Get the Prize 1 Corinthians 9:24 (Kindle Locations 1069–1073). NavPress. Kindle Edition.

To explain it another way every time I’m not able to turn down a Krispie Creme donut it makes choosing God’s way instead of my own in other areas more difficult. And if indulging in donuts becomes a habit (particularly in certain situations like when I’m emotional or frustrated) then it will be easier to develop habits of laziness or pampering myself in other ways.

Please understand I’m not saying eating a donut is a sin (I love them)! But I’m noticing a habit of physical indulgence I took part in during April is not just affecting me in physical ways.

Suddenly disciplining myself to do things like writing, Bible memorization, and reading Christian books that used to be easy require a lot more work and determination. It’s as if allowing one part of my life to become soft and undisciplined affected all the others!

Will I eat donuts again? You better believe it! And I can guarantee you the first thing I’ll want after seeing my family in the States is a Little Caesars pizza! But at the same time I know my American weight will be a lot less next time since with the Lord’s help I’ll use a lot more self-discipline when it comes to eating. Because it takes a lot longer than two-weeks to rebuild habits of self-discipline.

  1. a friend meeting me at the airport told me your overweight! At first I thought he was talking about my baggage…but he wasn’t  ↩
  2. there are vehicles in Barrouallie of course, but because its small most people just walk from place to place  ↩

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