Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The money fast and our waists

Several Foundry folk have told me they have lost weight while on the money fast.

In one case, the person who told me he had lost weight thought it was because he was walking instead of taking cabs. In another case, somebody thought it was because of not eating in restaurants. Another person said it was because he had decided not to buy beer while he was on the money fast.

It made me remember something I heard from a denominational leader 25 years ago or more. This particular leader, noticing the waistlines of some of us clergy, started a campaign to get us exercising. One of the unintended but positive consequences of the program, he said, was the number of clergy who told him that --when they started exercising-- they also began praying in a regular and more disciplined way again.

He said clergy (who often go into ministry because they really, really want to pray) would come up to him with tears in their eyes and say, "I want to thank you. Since I've started exercising, I've also started praying again." It was very touching, he said.

His conclusion was that, when we practice discipline in any one area of our lives, it tends to increase the odds that we will become more disciplined in other areas of our lives as well. Physical disciplines stimulate spiritual disciplines, and vice versa.

So there may be a larger dynamic at work with those of us losing weight during the money fast. It may be that when we discipline ourselves to set limits on one kind of appetite, it may actually become easier to set limits on other appetites.

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