I'm Shining, Are YOU Shining?

It will come as no surprise to anyone that I don’t know many Bible verses. I’m not opposed to the Bible; I just haven’t committed much of it to memory.

I do know a few verses, though, and one in particular came to mind recently:

A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.

Matthew 5:14

I remember this one because I first read it around the time a co-worker began discussing her newfound religious fervor. “D” willingness to share her joyous conversion with us knew no bounds. In fact, the only time she wasn’t talking about it (and trying to convert the heathen among us) was when she was dishing gossip about someone else or sneaking off to shop on company time. When I saw first saw the verse above, I remember thinking, D, if you’d just hush and let your self-described light shine from within, you’d make your conversion much more attractive and desirable.

In losing 100 pounds, I’m afraid I may have gone the “D” way. Erasing old habits and replacing them with better ones has been exciting, especially since many of the changes were made with a little tweak here and tiny shift there. I was eager to share my joy with everyone I knew!

Maybe a tad too eager. Someone recently told me she didn’t want to go to lunch with me because she didn’t want me to see what she ate for lunch. (Ouch!) I assured her that I couldn’t care less what she ate, but that I did care that she enjoyed it. And then to bridge the awkward gap, I told her I wouldn’t go to lunch with her if she was the last person on Earth. She laughed, I laughed, and we’re meeting for lunch next week.

I can’t recall criticizing anybody’s food choices or lack of exercise, and if I did I’m truly sorry. I’m the last person on the planet with any right to be judgmental about these topics. I never meant to come across like a religious extremist or an Amway salesman.

But maybe that’s not the case. I honestly don’t think I’ve been proselytizing too much. I dunno, maybe I’m conveniently forgetting a few dozen conversations. Something I’ve definitely noticed is that people volunteer what they’ve been eating or how they’ve been exercising. I never even bring it up. I ran into a co-worker last week and the first thing she said to me after hello was, “I’m still climbing the stairs!” (See this link for relevance.)

See? She brought it up! (And I’m glad she did and thrilled she’s still climbing! She was reluctant to try it.)

So I’m used to friends and such offering their successes. I was bumfuzzled for a few seconds yesterday, though, when the young clerk at Office Max blurted out, with great enthusiasm, “I biked this morning!”

At first I wasn’t sure he was talking to me, but there was no one else around. “Oh yeah? Where did you ride?” Brilliant conversationalist, me.

He went on to tell me the route in his neighborhood and how he chose to go up some “bad ass hills.” I noticed as he talked, his eyes drifted to my chest a couple of times. Losing 100 pounds has resulted in that area not getting much attention these days, so I glanced down to make sure nothing was showing that shouldn’t be.

Turns out I was wearing my “What Have You Done Today?” t-shirt, which has a bunch of forms of exercise printed on it. Biking was one of the choices. Duh. Still, he was proud and I was proud for his accomplishment. We talked about biking a few minutes more and I left.

Later yesterday, after I had walked to the gym (twice, which is a story for another day), I walked over to Subway for my post-workout snack. As I was leaving, a man said, “Great workout today!” I recognized him vaguely as having been at the gym while I was there. (I had one of those “being where my butt is” days and was totally focused on my workout.) He went on to compliment my push-ups and my attitude during my workout. I was deliciously embarrassed but thrilled, as you can imagine. We talked about workouts for a few minutes, and I walked home.

So, you see, even people I never met bring up this healthier living thing without my asking. It can’t just be me over-talking it. Not all the time, anyway.

It makes me think that there might be something to this city on a hill thing. Maybe if you do the things you need to be doing and you do them with the right attitude, the satisfaction and the pleasure will shine from within you and serve as their own form of attraction.

Oooh, that reminds me of that old Sunday School song (since I got away with the Bible verse already): This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!

Okay, so maybe the writer intended something else, but it works here as well. Our efforts and our attitudes will make people want what we have, and maybe–just maybe–that will inspire them to find their own light!

Now all we need are some pamphlets to put under people’s windshields at the supermarket and we’ll be set! :)

Thus endeth today’s sermon. I can’t find the collection plate, but we will resume passing it next week.

Go in peace. And good health.