For most of my adult life, I have made fun of vegetarians and people who think yoga is exercise. There’s just something fundamentally wrong with them.
For vegetarians, the fact that they won’t eat meat goes against everything that is decent, just, and right. Besides, I have run into a few vegetarians who believe they are morally superior to meat eaters. They always rub me the wrong way.
For those who think yoga falls under the category of exercise, how is that? If you are bring a nap mat to an exercise class, it’s not exercise, it’s rest. Besides, what’s up with all the weird music playing in the background?
As you can tell, I have spent the majority of my life being very open-minded. It’s one of my greatest qualities. But recently, things have changed.
Eighteen months ago, at my annual physical, the doctor asked if I had any questions. I explained some problems I was having with my legs. He diagnosed the statin drug I was taking for high cholesterol, had caused myopathy in my legs. He asked me to try a whole foods plant based diet. And since pain is a great motivator, I agreed.
That was the last day Shannon and I ate meat, eggs, fish, dairy, or any type of oil. It turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. But it also meant that I had become the very thing I made fun of.
While I couldn’t make fun of vegetarians anymore, luckily, I still had people who thought yoga counted as exercise. Then, that changed.
For most of my adult life, I have had problems with my lower back as a result of football and military service. It was a constant issue that I had grown accustomed to. But recently, these lower back issues were getting worse.
Six weeks ago, I told Shannon I wanted to use one of her yoga exercise DVDs to see if it would help. It did. I felt tremendous relief but there was a problem. How could I ever confess that six days a week, I practice yoga? So I decided not to say anything. Then Shannon got involved. She couldn’t wait to tell my yoga loving daughter that I was a convert.
What follows is a short text conversation with my daughter after Shannon spilled the beans.
Me: “The reason I did not share I am a yoga master is because, while I am always open to new experiences, you really aren’t.
Downward Dog, baby!”
Caitlyn Su: (A gif of Robert John Downey Jr. rolling his eyes) “Who says you can’t teach an old dog, downward dog??? Proud of you.”
Me: “I really am a fan. I will show you how to do it someday. First time my back hasn’t hurt in over a decade.”
Caitlyn Su: “Hmmm, imagine that. And psh, stay in your lane old man, I’m advanced.”
The lesson to this long, rambling devotional is that I should have been a whole lot more careful about what I said through the years. I have actually become the person I made fun of. I should have been a little more judicious and put my brain in gear before shifting my mouth into overdrive.
This is what Solomon meant by saying, “Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.” (Proverbs 21:23)
Today, be intentional about what you say and also, what you don’t say. If not, you may end up having to eat your words. Trust me, they don’t taste good.
Prayer: Dear Gracious Heavenly God, help me watch my words. Use them to bring healing, peace, and love. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Now I know. If I make fun of someone, I will eventually be just like them. So starting today, I am going to make fun of tall people.
You never know. It just might work.
I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.