I am in this weight loss competition with a friend from church. We started off like gang busters with a lot of trash talking while we were still in Mexico on our mission trip. We both had put on a few pounds over he last few years. He wanted to lose weight so he could look good for his daughter's wedding. I wanted to lose weight to put off my doctor's concerns about my blood sugar levels.
We both jumped at a chance for a weight loss competition. We set our goal at 35 pounds. We agreed that we would weigh in each Sunday after church. The first to reach 35 pounds would win.
It's been a lot of fun so far. We really ribbed each other a lot once the particulars were decided. With a cockiness that Mohamed Ali would be proud of, we went after each other. Even after our initial weigh in we kept goading each other on.
Three weeks ago we got on the scale and the race was on. The following Sunday I stepped on the scale first. I lost 2 1/2 pounds and was feeling good. Mark stepped on the scale and he blew me away. He lost 8 pounds. He smiled and laughed and I conceded round one. I simply reminded him of the story of the tortoise and the hare.
This week we stepped up for round two and i lost another 2 1/2. Mark began apologizing right away. He stepped up and the scale showed a 1/2 pound loss. Things had evened out for him. He is ahead but the gap has shrunk going into week three.
Our weight loss competition is fun. In the end we will both help each other lose weight and be in a healthier place. It struck me that the church is at its best when we are doing the same thing. When we are challenging each other to grow in faith. That's why Bible studies are so important. We look at the Scriptures and talk about what they are saying to us. Then we see how they apply to what's happening in our lives.
Brian McLaren, in his book "A Search for What is Real: Finding Faith," says that if you really want to grow, you need to find a church. He says it is in the church that you can find others who are also seeking to walk with God. He warns us it won't be easy. (Hey the trash talk between Mark and me was pretty brutal.) In the end you will be blessed by the efforts.
So stay tuned to hear how Mark and I are doing. Meanwhile, check in at your church and see if there are any Bible studies you can be a part of.