The F-Bomb

 It’s a four-letter word. It begins with the letter “F.” People drop it all the time like it’s harmless (which, of course, it’s not). I’m sick of it!

As you have probably guessed, I’m speaking of food. This habitual word has become the bane of my existence. I just wish I could stop thinking about it. Unfortunately, someone drops that bomb every time I turn around. If they would just stop reminding me of these costly calories, maybe I could make some headway in the wonderful world of dieting.

For much of my life, I was something of a skinny guy. I never had to worry about my waistline, and I certainly didn’t worry about what I ate. It was a beautiful existence.

Things have changed, and I’m not happy about it. There were a couple of times in my life when I gained considerable poundage. My face got chubby, and my overall appearance became a little roly-poly. I was able to deal with those issues in each case and got back down to fighting condition.

“Something weird happened…”

But, something weird happened when I turned sixty-five. I put on weight. In and of itself, this was not overly alarming. What was unusual about this time around was where I put it. My face remained thin, my legs skinny, and my butt is almost non-existent. Every last ounce seems to have been packed onto my midsection. In a phrase, I have a belly to beat the band. I hate it.

Apparently, I don’t hate it enough to lose it though. Every day, I keep stoking the fire. Even when I lose a few pounds, the belly protrudes. It’s just not fair. I’ve got what used to be known as “preacher’s disease,” and I’m not liking it.

I was hoping to find some theological reason for my current condition, but I can’t seem to dredge one up. It seems it’s not particularly Biblical to be overweight. There is one possibility I’m working on that does show some promise.

Eating With Sinners

If you read the Gospels (particularly the Gospel of Luke), you see Jesus eating with almost everyone. He eats with Pharisees, sinners, disciples, tax collectors, and rebellious women. There was something about breaking bread together that fed into (no pun intended) his understanding of community.

My guess is, a good number of those people had less than desirable eating habits. If we’re going to follow in the Lord’s footsteps, we too must eat with all these types of carnivores and pastaterians. I’ve been accused of having a sweet tooth, but it’s merely part of my ministry of consumption.

Still, Jesus is always pictured as being rather bony. While we don’t really know his body type, he did walk everywhere he went (something I’m not prone to do). He probably was on the slender side. On the other hand, I was really slim at thirty-three too.

I guess the Biblical argument for my belly fat is pretty thin (a condition to which I’d like to return).

[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and is currently the pastor of Smith Chapel, in Great Falls, VA.]

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