For the last month or so, I have been talking about all the things I want to change in my life this year. This year is the year for CHANGE! I want change to come in many areas of my life, from something as small as a new hairstyle to something as important as not taking a moment for granted and living life to the fullest. I am adopting many healthy eating changes, and I've also changed my sedentary lifestyle to one that encourages and welcomes exercise. Today, I ran and walked THREE AND A HALF MILES!! Last year, I would have dreaded the thought of walking slowly for one mile. But today, I was exited about my workout time, and I was disappointed when it had to come to an end. CHANGE! I need it!
One major change I made is giving up my coffee. For any of you who know even a little about me, you know that I LOVE my coffee strong, large, and several times a day. It is the first thing I think of when I wake, and I can't function without 2 good, strong cups. By the time lunch is over, I'm thinking about the next 2 cups I'll have for an afternoon snack. And often, in the evening, I am craving more before bed. And the cycle continues day after day after day.
The problem with that is this. A little coffee is fine for most people, but an excessive amount can lead to all kinds of problems with your body. The caffeine high that I get from my first 2 cups lasts only until snack time. By that time, the caffeine has worn off and I am dragging. I can't make it through the rest of the day without another caffeine high. So I drink more. But by the evening, that caffeine high has worn off, and I can't wait to crash for the night. There again, the cycle goes on and on and on.
So I decided to get off of my coffee for 2 weeks to see if I felt better. To my absolute amazement, I am now more awake than I have ever been, I stay WIDE AWAKE for the entire day, and I am even staying up later at night than I ever have! By getting out of the cycle, my body is able to work like it was meant to work. I feel better, and I am better able to function in each day! There's one positive thing! After the 2 weeks were up, I was quite proud of myself, and in the back of my head, I thought, "Good! I did it, I'm done, I can drink coffee again." But I felt so good that I just couldn't talk myself into getting back into the habit again. So I haven't.
Reason number 2 for giving up my coffee is a spiritual one. The Bible says that anything in excess is sin. Everything is OK in moderation, but anything that we do or eat or drink (or whatever) in excess is a sin to My God. When I was no longer able to drink my coffee in moderation, but it became an addiction and I was consumed with it, it became a sin for me. I have tried cutting back and even giving it up many times in the past, but I always go back to drinking in "excess". So I had to quit completely.
There are lots of other benefits from quitting, like less money spent on coffee, filters, Starbucks - I could go on and on. But the 2 major benefits for me are my health and my obedience to God.
God asks different things of each of us. Not too many of you have been called to homeschool your children as I have. Only a few of us are called to children's ministry. Some of us are called to a mission field far away. Some of us are asked to serve the poor and homeless. A few of us are called to sing in church. Many are asked to give their time and talents to glorify Him. Do not think that, just because God has asked something of me, He is asking the same of you. We each have our own convictions from God.
I realize that there are many of you reading this who are scratching your heads and trying to figure out what in the world I'm saying and doing!! Here's something to remember. God does not ask the same from each of us. God does not ask everyone to give up coffee, or video games, or money, or whatever. But what He does ask from EACH of His children is that we put Him first and foremost in our lives. And He is a very jealous God. Anything that comes before Him, He asks that we get rid of it. So what do YOU have in your life that is an addiction, something that you can't get away from, something coming before your God Almighty? What is He convicting you of today? It probably won't be the same thing in which He has convicted me. CHANGE - we ALL need it!