How To Lose Weight and Some Theological Stuff

For two cents, I’d write a little something about menopause, but I’m not sure anyone would read it—not even if I paid them the two cents.

All the women’s magazines on the rack feature articles about weight loss. If you want a woman to open her wallet and toss you a few bucks, you’d better promise her a way to lose ten pounds fast, which is why I’ve decided everything I write from now on will be titled “How to Lose Weight (and Some Theological Stuff)”.

Everybody knows how to lose weight. You eat less and exercise more. It’s a formula that works for the majority, but we buy the magazines hoping for a magic pill that allows us to eat whatever we want. And the pills and the diets and the advice keep on coming; it’s a gluttonous market.

But I’m not sure about menopause. I once told my therapist that I never heard anyone talking about menopause, and she told me I was too young. “Just wait. One day you will.”

And she was right, and that day has come. And I sense the day has arrived for many of my friends, but that doesn’t mean anybody wants to read about it. The only book I have on menopause I found in the free book bin at the Chinese take-out. Crones and chow mein.

And if menopause is suspect, imagine the trepidation menopause and spirituality inspires. If you’re dealing with hormonal mood swings, you may want to avoid Scripture. Otherwise, you pick up the Bible—there it is. The warnings are clear.

If you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, ‘You fool’, you will be liable to the hell of fire…. (Matthew 5:22)

Sounds serious, and makes me relieved I’m not a literalist.   I’ll admit I’m not at my best when I’m angry. Yet, I feel the power and passion outrage inspires. What does that bumper sticker say? “If you’re not pissed off, you’re not paying attention”. Of course, having the kind of temper that makes you liable to judgment and headed for hellfire doesn’t sound like much fun either.  Remember Paul’s advice.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.   (Galatians 5: 22-24)

But if I’m going to beat myself over the head with Scripture, I may as well use it for comfort too. And I’ve found great consolation in those Sons of Thunder, James and John. They wanted to command fire to come down from heaven and consume the inhospitable.  Jesus stopped them, of course. But he didn’t stop hanging out with them.

 When the days drew near for him to be received up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.  And he sent messengers ahead of him, who went and entered a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him; but the people would not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem.  And when his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to bid fire come down from heaven and consume them?” But he turned and rebuked them. And they went on to another village.  

Luke 9:51-55

Rev. Darlene L. Kelley       Methodist To Her Madness      October 18, 2014

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