Many of you, like me, enjoyed watching the recent summer olympics. I’m now looking forward to February when the winter olympics take place. I love the competition of each event, but I enjoy the stories of the various athletes, too. While they all come from different backgrounds and journeys to reach the olympics, one thing they have in common is training. For years they exercise, eat, and rest according to a regime that keeps them at their physical best.
It’s no different in our spiritual worlds. Just as an olympian has choices to make — a diet of burgers and fries or balanced nutrition of fruits and vegetables, every follower of Christ has a diet that is best for them, too. Have you wondered why at times you feel weary and discontent? Perhaps despondency comes easily. You admit to yourself that you even feel dry in your devotion to God and in your walk with Him. Joy has slipped away. Peace is a thing of the past. Hope has flown right out the window of lost dreams. Why has this happened?
Let’s take a look on your spiritual cupboard shelves. What are you keeping in your pantry to eat? Are there boxes of bitterness ready to toss in a pot to boil more discontent and anger? Are there jars of restlessness to spread all over dry bread of mildewed hope? Are there cans of weariness replacing refreshment from God’s Word? Have you gone to the world’s market place to shop; something to make you feel better? Be careful what you buy. All the ingredients of this world cannot begin to compare with the spiritual food God has to offer.
Look at what is written in Isaiah 55:2, “Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength? Why pay for food that does you no good? Listen to Me, and you will eat what is good. You will enjoy the finest food.” What an amazing and joyful promise from God! His instruction is plain and simple to follow — listen to His ways and you will be eating healthy.
When we meditate upon God’s advice, refusing the suggestions of the world around us, we immediately sense peace growing. That leads to joy bubbling. That leads to hope that provides us strength to press on even in times of great difficulty. When we follow God’s diet we have His very own strength to face all the perils this world may throw at us. When we listen to God, choosing to trust that His ways are actually better than ours, then we are ready for the spiritual olympics, a race that promises a gold medal to all who run it with diligence.