The Sting

About three weeks ago, I looked into the mirror and alarmingly asked myself, “Was I stung by bees in the middle of the night? Should I chug some Benadryl?” My face was swollen. Wait, my whole body was swollen. After making sure my throat wasn’t closing up, I stepped on the scale…….. 180lbs?! I muttered a few words I pretend my daughter doesn’t think I say and quickly jumped off the scale. 

That’s one extra pound for every year since I left college. Damn you, COVID!

This extra pull of gravity was the result of a little extra time on the couch, and less time in the gym (aka zero time), and ice cream. Can’t forget the ice cream. Anna is my best cheerleader, and she said she was up for a change too. But what do we change? What do you do when you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired? 

We thought about doing the Paleo diet and then remembered that last time we tried that, we nicknamed it the PaleNO diet mainly because you can’t eat anything on that stupid diet! So, we decided we were going to do Keto. I don’t think I even knew what Keto meant except I knew that I could have bacon and lots of it. OK. I’m in.

A couple of takeaways I have from these past three weeks are that you really can’t get enough bacon and a hard one: I say, “I deserve it!” a lot when it comes to food. Whether it is a long day at work, working out hard, taking Anna or Cora on a date, or even just breathing, all are reasons to celebrate with a treat. My food-reward cycle is strong. After some recollection, I realized that it always has been. I remember being a kid, and I couldn’t wait to be a grown-up just so I could drive to the store, get candy, or go to McDonald’s anytime I wanted. How is it that I am just coming to realize this at 45? 

Chip Judd, a counselor and one of the pastors at Seacoast, said, “You are your own strongest influence.” Apparently, I am VERY convincing to myself!

I wonder how many of us out there are just pushing through the day on the power of sugar, caffeine, or some other type of “fix.”

Psalm 28, which sounds a lot like our verse from last week (Psalm 91) says: “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.”

The Psalms, and the rest of the Bible are filled with lessons that say, if we are worried, or if we are weak, or if we are in need, and we turn to Him that God Himself will meet us right where we are. 

So, why am I not asking Him for strength, persistence, new ideas, and wisdom? 

Have you mastered this? What does your thought pattern look like to get there?

It looks like I’m changing my plan as well as my diet because as it turns out, turning to God is way better, and way less expensive than a $7 espresso.

With God’s help, we will get through this together.

In His service and at yours!


Published by Shawn McCarthy

While serving as the Weekend Experience Pastor at Seacoast Church, I felt God prompting me to share the moments when He would speak His truth into my life through scripture in a way that made sense to me, giving me tangible ways to learn, grow and lead. These promptings turned into weekly emails that I would send my small groups and volunteer teams. I found myself enjoying the process of digging deeper into God’s Word, being stretched by the writing process, and encouraging others in the faith. My lovely wife, Anna, challenged me to begin this blog, so these moments that I have come to call, my “Red-Letter Moments,” can find a home. My prayer is that you will find hope, comfort, and inspiration here, and above all, you will come to know that the God of the universe loves you and desires a personal relationship with you.”

One thought on “The Sting

  1. Everything in moderation, maybe not in those words, but that is also what Jesus preached. Diets have many names, They entice and promote with promise of weight loss, svelte bodies, and stuff that even fairy tales are not made of. Eat what you will, and enjoy it, in MODERATION. He preached so many things we should use in our daily lives, concentrate on the things that are realistic, and will work best in your favor. We are blessed with an abundance, of most anything we desire, let’s be careful not to abuse these blessings. You are a powerful and wonderful guy, ditch the diets and concentrate on what’s important in your life. You are blessed and loved Hugs


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