Monday, October 31, 2011

Shedding those extra kilos!


A few weeks ago, I had the special joy of whizzing off to Sri Lanka to spend ten wonderful days with my precious (86 year old) Mum. As I excitedly packed for my trip, one of the difficulties I faced was that the combined weight of clothes, gifts and other necessities being packed into my bag, came to a hefty 35 kilos. Why do I call it “hefty”? Because my bag allowance was only 20 kilos! Oh oh…! 15 kilos too many!

Something had to go!

After much unpacking and repacking, taking out, throwing out, putting in, pulling out and whatever else I did… I finally was only 5 kilos overweight! Whew! Much better! I hastily typed an email to my Mum and my sisters telling them of a specialist doctor’s appointment I’d attended that day. I added a post script.

PS. I’m still trying to get rid of a few kilos. Alas, I’m 5 kilos overweight!

Mum replied immediately. “Don’t worry about shedding those 5 kilos while you’re on holiday. You can think about it when you return home’!

My sister responded, ‘Mum – I think Anu means her bags and not her own weight’! If you heard a loud peal of laughter going off in 3 different countries in 3 different continents, that was us! My Mum, my sisters and I having a good laugh over her mistake!

I replied “As for my own weight – that’s more like a good 10 kilos over!

Mum wrote back promptly! ‘Don’t worry, Anu. You and your 10 extra kilos are all welcome. Waiting for you’! When I finally reached Sri Lanka, we all had a further laugh about my Mum’s (natural) mistake about those extra kilos.

Extra baggage! We all have it in some form, don’t we? I would love to shed 10 kilos from my person but find it hard to muster up sufficient self control to stick to a diet. Perhaps one day soon, I will do it! What about us Writers? A diarrhoea of words is usually a sign of bad writing isn't it? We Writers need to constantly chop off sentences or words to make our writing tight, succinct and more readable. I don’t know how it is with you – but I struggle with this. With having too many words in my writing. I have to keep going over and over my work in order to make it much much better than the initial draft. Thankfully I love editing my own work and enjoy having a 2nd and 3rd and 4th look into it. Chopping off a sentence there! Adding a more suitable word there. Revising our work can be a lot of fun!

Of course the problem of too much baggage applies not just in Writing – it applies to us as Christians too, doesn’t it? What kind of baggage need I shed today? Of recent months, God has been challenging me more and more about my character. Have I allowed His Holy Spirit to work on me? Recently Asta reminded us that we Christian Writers have a ‘Holy Calling”. Thanks Asta! You are so right. I’d like to add to that. We also have a “Calling to Holiness” don’t we? A calling to become the people of God that He has created us to be. God calls me to be not just a Christian Writer, but also a Woman after His own heart. How else can I communicate His truth to others? I need to be ‘walking the walk’ so I can ‘talk the talk’! Don’t you agree?

And so….. I can think of many kinds of baggage that has needed to come off my own life at different points in my journey! Selfishness, pride, unforgiveness? Laziness, greed, indifference? Do those words ring any bells? How about anxiety, self centeredness and slander? Disobedience, fear, rebellion? Oh dear… the list does go on and on and on!

What kind of baggage is God asking me to offload today? Editing my stories is painstaking and needs to be done and re-done many times over. Editing myself is another matter. A life time exercise! Something that only the Master Editor could cope with doing. It must grieve Him often, that despite all his editing, He continues to find fresh flaws creeping into the person I am! Hebrews 12:14 reminds me that holiness is not an option. It is in fact, an essential part of my walk with God.

1 Peter 1:15 tells us that God calls us to be holy. 1 Peter 2:9 adds to it. “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

It would be wonderful when The Amazing One and Only Designer-Creator-Editor who writes our stories puts down His heavenly pen with a flourish, looks at us with a satisfied smile, the love-light dancing in His eyes and says ‘’Well done thou good and faithful Image-bearers. You are exactly as I planned you to become. Enter into the joy of my Kingdom’!

Wouldn’t that be something worth striving for?

28 comments:

  1. I nearly overlooked this post because the email announcing it sounded like spam! (And if one were serious about shedding kilos, one would eschew, rather than chew, spam.)

    One difficulty I find with editing my own writing is that I'm so familiar with it, and approving of it, that I can't even *identify* the excess kilos. I'm sure that situation carries across the analogy too: it's hard to prune one's character when one is so familiar with it that the excess bits just seem so natural.

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  2. I agree, Anusha, it is hard to prune one's character. I'd rather edit a piece of writing any day, but in our Christian walk, it's important we become courageous and get rid of that excess baggage so that we become more like Jesus.

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  3. I love the analogy Anusha, especially drawn from your amusing experience! Getting rid of excess baggage in every area of our lives is definitely an ongoing process. But, with the grace of God, we shall succeed. :)

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  4. Anusha, I love your analogy: editing life and editing work. I think in principle they are not much different from the other.

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  5. I tend to think there is one thing I am holding on to, and it's baggage I don't want to get rid of. But maybe negative thoughts about others is something I should shed.

    I do agree with Peter, that your own work becomes too familiar to us. Maybe that is something i need to work on.
    MEL

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  6. Thanks Paul - I'm glad you didn't delete it as spam! :) I fully agree with you on that one. I think we tend to miss things because we are so familiar with our work. I guess that's why it's good to have it critiqued and edited by others. I think we even miss simple mistakes because our brains gloss over typos and double words and so on. Thanks for your feedback and glad there are others like me!
    Cheers,
    Anusha

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  7. Thanks Jennifer Anne. Really appreciate your encouragement.

    Thanks Laura for your words about our walk with Christ. As you pointed out, editing writing is far easier than editing character! (Ouch!) May God give us grace and wisdom and the willingness to go all the way with Him.
    Blessings,
    Anusha

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  8. I enjoyed this post too. Editing our personal characters is certainly more of a challenge than editing our writing - especially because we're the only people who can really do it. Well, I, for one, don't fancy the thought of asking another human editor to help me 'edit' my character. I'm glad it's just between us and God.
    Blessings,
    Paula

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  9. I like your attitude Amanda. Yes, God's grace is all we need isn't it? Thanks for your encouragement not just in my writing but also in my walk with God!

    Thanks Rose. I guess they are very similar on some ways and very different in others? We can be ruthless in editing our work but not as ruthless sometimes in editing our characters. And yet - there is no greater joy than letting the Master Editor prune me I've found - the process is very painful but the end result a harvest of righteousness and peace.
    Blessings,
    Anusha

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  10. Thanks Mel! Like you said we tend to hold onto unnecessary baggage in our walk with God - and yes, letting go is the only way to go isn't it?

    May He give us grace to let go of those things that hinder our walk with God.
    Blessings,
    Anusha

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  11. What I love about having to 'shed' anything, is the deep thinking that comes with it. The re-calibration and ordering which strips and leaves only that which is worth keeping. The weighing up (no pun intended) of what brings glory to God and what detracts from His desires for us. Whether it be our eating and exercise habits, our words or our motives, He sees it all. Thankfully, we can bring it all to Him and see it for ourselves, in the light of His glory and grace.

    Blessings Anusha. Thanks for sharing :)

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  12. Oh dear, Anusha, that excess baggage that you mentioned sounded very much like me too. Doesn't the Bible say something about putting off the 'weight which clings so closely' so that we can run the race more effectively? In any case, I loved your heartwarming story Anusha. God Bless.

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  13. Thanks for the timely reminder, Anusha. I'm sure none of us want to be weighed in the balances and found wanting in our character or our service for the Lord!

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  14. I'm wholeheartedly with Dorothy's comments. Thanks, Anusha! And especially for that last paragraph. I am also hoping/waiting for that time to come...

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  15. So many great treasures in this post to think about
    xx

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  16. Anusha, what an awesome post!
    My husband spoke on this very issue in church recently! He took a back pack full of 'stuff' so everyone had a visual to remember! I really enjoyed being reminded of this again! Thankyou! :)

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  17. Anusha, great post & I love your analogy! In recent years my discipline with regular exercise has covered my lapses in discipline when it comes to food :) Editing our writing is definitely easier and less painful than editing our character. It can be hard to see & acknowledge the areas where we need pruning in both our writing and character. I've appreciated reading all the comments :)

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  18. Loved all your responses everyone. Thanks so much for your encouragement! :)Paula - I had a good giggle over someone trying to edit my character! I guess that's something what friends do sometimes? Or sermons help us with? I do agree most definitely that it's good it's between us and God! :) Thanks for that.
    Blessings,
    Anusha

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  19. Thanks Dorothy for those interesting thoughts. Shedding anything comes through discipline doesn't it? And yes, thank God we have His help and His grace to see us through. Thanks Michelle for your encouraging words.

    Thanks Debbie - you are spot on on what the Word says about shedding those weights that hinder us. Rather a battle isn't it to do that consistently? Thanks for your encouragement.

    Thanks Rita for those helpful words.

    Lovely to hear Lynne that your husband had shared something similar and visually using a backpack! Am sure all those who saw that will remember it for a long time!
    Blessings and thanks,
    Anusha

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  20. Thanks Narelle for sharing. Well done on getting on top of your discipline in exercise. I have to agree with you that sometimes it is hard to both see and acknowledge the flaws in our character. I guess that's where we need the Holy Spirit's help? And sometimes, God brings us to a deep place of learning where we are forced to acknowledge what He shows us and forced to change! Thankfully we have a God who is for us and who will help us! :)

    Thanks Margaret - yes, we do have a wonderful hope, don't we?
    Blessings,
    Anusha

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  21. Thank you so much for sharing this, aunty Anu!!! The comparison you made is so fitting and easy to envision as well, because I often face the task of having to remove stuff I pack in, as a result of overloading my bag! Reading your post made me want to work harder on shedding those extra 'kilos' of unholiness as well as work more on my writing. I feel really blessed by your thoughts. Enjoyed reading all of it! THANK YOU!!! :)

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  22. Thanks sweet Shala aka NBN! :) Hope that bag of yours stretches just a little more next time! :) Thanks so much for your encouraging words sweet NBN! Thank you for commenting too! And I was blessed by YOUR thoughts. Bless you. Love always. xo

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  23. Great post , ah ha , a teeny weeny bit was my gift in yr baggage.
    Anu thank you for telling me about this blog! As always you hit all the right nails! Indeed i am one who hates to look inward.....and have been postponing...now i better hetdown to it..i like your last para! and all the the writer's comments and posts. you have an awesome group here! keep it coming!Angie, Sri Lanka

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  24. Hey Angie!
    Lovely to get your comment. Thank you! Yep - your gift was a teeny weight but since there were so many teeny gifts (about 60 - 70 of them!) it added up! :) Glad my blog will spur you on to look inwards.
    Thanks for your encouragement my friend! Really appreciate it. :) Bless you. xo

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  25. Anusha - a really challenging blog. Thank you so much. Asta x

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  26. Thanks Asta. Appreciate your encouragement.
    Anusha

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