Mike Cope's blog

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

"Eating responsibly at McDonald's is like going to a strip club for the iced tea." That's from Roger Ebert's review of Morgan Spurlock's film "Super Size Me." You know the story line by now. Spurlock conducted an "experiment" (with cameras rolling, of course). He ate three squares a day for a month--with every meal at McDonald's. He never ordered the Super Size unless he was asked. At the end of the month, his weight was up thirty pounds. His blood pressure was highly elevated, and his cholesterol spiked 65 points. In addition, he had symptoms of toxic shock to his liver. Not exactly the kind of publicity a company hopes for. We're in the low-carb craze right now. It will pass, as did the low-fat craze. Eventually the pendulum will come back to the middle and health-conscious people will shoot for the basics: better carbs, better fat, modest portions, guacamole, and regular exercise. It isn't rocket science. Once again, though, I think we should recognize that all the health stuff can become almost idolatrous. That's not to discourage anyone who is enjoying a new burst of healthier living. But it's easier to put a tape measure around the bust or waist than around the heart. What if our real obsession was spiritual transformation . . . spiritual health? Isn't it easy for us to become really lazy there--devouring snack foods loaded with fat, sugar, and salt? These old words from one of the Pastoral Epistles still have an important claim to make on our lives: "Train yourself to be godly, for physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come" (1 Tim. 4:7f). Now here's the difficult part. I'm 47. And when I was younger I imagined that I would be further along the road of spiritual formation by now than I am. I've run in marathons, eaten right (at times), and kept my weight down. But, I really thought I would be more developed spiritually by now--a person in whom love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control were the default settings. I imagined 20 years ago that by now I'd be a praying fool. 47 apparently isn't the magic age for me. Maybe it's 48 . . . .


  • Mike, I'm fat and you've offended me. My way (fat) is the right way and you've crossed the line. I am devoting the rest of my days to spreading gossip about you. As soon as I finish this post I am going to develop a website to create disenion among the fat and skinny. Because you disagree with my love for eating way too many chips and salsa, I am forced (compelled if you will) to drag your name through the mud. You will never hear me speak ill of you to your face of course. I will do it behind your toned torso! Your the fat Antichrist and you must repent you skinny sinner!

    By Blogger Joel Quile, at 5/18/2004 07:24:00 AM  

  • Wow, Joel, I have often been misunderstood in my attempts to communicate . . . but to think that I object to chips and salsa--well, you're missing it, brother. In fact sometime I challenge you to a chips-and-salsa eating contest at Pappasito's (Spanish for "heavenly banquet"). You're arguing from silence, of course. Since I'm FOR chips and guacamole, you think I'm therefore necessarily AGAINST chips and salsa. Au contraire . . . .

    By Blogger Mike, at 5/18/2004 07:41:00 AM  

  • Now, brothers, let's not start up another round of wor-chip wars.

    By Blogger Tim Castle, at 5/18/2004 08:46:00 AM  

  • At least half of what you imagined 20 years ago has come true...

    By Blogger Grant, at 5/18/2004 11:19:00 AM  

  • Sounds like you have a pretty good physical plan, what is your spiritual plan?

    By Blogger Joe Cook, at 5/18/2004 01:53:00 PM  

  • I don't know about Mike, but I find the following "spiritual plan" really helpful:

    Gossip 3x's a week
    Practice Sound Doctrine 4x's a week
    Point Fingers 5x's a week
    Throw Accusations 2x's a week
    Remove specs from other's eyes - daily

    I wouldn't recommend this for everyone, especially those who practice evangelism, mercy, and peacemaking, but I find a little exercise called "majoring in the minors" is extremely helpful for staying in tip top Pharisetical form.

    I also try and ingest a healthy dose of legalism daily just to stay sound and in good standing.

    Mike,or Joe for that matter, I don't know about you - but the exercise that wears me out the most is trying to earn my way to heaven. Talk about a killer!

    By Blogger Joel Quile, at 5/18/2004 03:16:00 PM  

  • Joel,

    You've only posted the minimum requirements for full pharisaical formation. Though I think it's far more important to focus on the things you exclude from your workout to differentiate yourself from those who only appear to be True Bretheren.

    Still, I really feel you ought to have mentioned your commitment to chronicle the routines of others and keep an itemized tab of faults for future reference to document the superiority of your routine.

    By Blogger Q, at 5/18/2004 09:53:00 PM  

  • "Making Christian Sense" (a book by Paul Holmer)
    focused on my lack of spiritual growth like a beam of quarks (very fundamentally sharp but not in a fundamentalist or legalistic way- hitting my spiritual inadequacy AND wetting my spiritual appetite while overwhelming me with JOY.

    By Blogger Cloyd Taylor, at 9/06/2005 06:51:00 AM  

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