Monday, February 15, 2010

The Biggest Sinner

Our family likes to watch the show "The Biggest Loser" on TV together. It's (relatively) clean and it teaches our kids about setting physiological health as a priority-- but it's a fun show.

One recurring element of the show that surprised me at first, but actually makes a lot of sense, is how much emotional, mental, and psychological change (and I would say also, spiritual change) is required in order for the contestants on the show to really lose the quantities of weight that they want to-- and to keep those pounds off. Almost every episode features at least one of the contestants working with one of the two trainers at that level. I'd be remiss if I didn't note here just how good at this aspect these trainers are, as well.

The bottom line: in order to lose the weight and get healthy, it isn't just a diet change or even a simple lifestyle change (as in, now they go to the gym on a regular basis). Those are present factors, but the real changes take place in the actual identity of the people. The don't think of themselves in the same ways. They aren't punishing themselves, or soothing themselves, or medicating themselves, by using food as a tool for those. They are truly different people once they have finished the course of the show.

(Interestingly, they have recently started going back to contestants from previous seasons to check on them, and it's fascinating to see what happens to those who DON'T really change in who they are: they eventually put much of the weight back on.)

So here's my curiosity: could a similar thing be possible for spiritual change (think, "The Biggest Sinner")? So many of the people I come in contact with need something like "The Biggest Loser" for real, substantive spiritual identity change.

I'm not thinking of a competition like that show is, but simply a "boot camp" of sorts for spiritual growth. Maybe it would involve bringing in counselors, teachers, trainers of a different nature. Maybe it would look like an extended retreat, or maybe it would be something very much like the setup on "The Biggest Loser" but for spiritual rather than (or in addition to?) physical health.

What would such a project/event/conference/center look like? What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. Good post Ed!

    I wonder if a spiritual "boot camp" of this sort would resemble the L'Abri experience?