Our experience with food often reminds us of a spiritual truth. In my case, I know that I show very little restraint once I start eating chocolate candies. This reminds me of what I used to tell my Sunday School students before we settled in for the lesson portion of the morning. I suggested that they choose not to sit next to someone they would be tempted to talk with. I gave the class a little time to choose seats that would be most helpful for them to listen well. Some of my students chose to sit in the far corner of the room with my helper since that was the least distracting place for them. I encouraged my students to make it easy for themselves to follow the rules of the classroom.
With chocolate, I choose to make it easy for myself to avoid overindulging simply by not buying much chocolate in the first place. I stop my overindulgence at the point of purchase in the store. If I had more self-control in this realm, I could stop my overindulgence at the point of serving myself chocolate in our home. I know that eating too much chocolate will make it difficult to accomplish what I need to each day, so I prefer to avoid too much of it. For Brody, he knows that he feels and functions best if he completely avoids the ingredients that really affect him negatively and also does not overindulge in the food we make. Even food that is designed to avoid his problems will cause him difficulties if he overindulges. These weaknesses of ours may not be your weaknesses, but you can substitute your example from your life.
The very real physical ramifications of our food choices serve as reminders for us in other areas of our life. There are times I struggle more with complaining that God has not blessed me the way I want to be blessed in my life. If I continue down the path of self-pity, I know I won’t be able to function well since a lack of joy quickly corresponds to a lack of physical energy for me. Either too much chocolate or focusing on self-pitying thoughts will hinder my ability to serve God throughout the day. So, when the first thoughts of self-pity begin, I can choose to change my focus through meditating on the Bible verse I’m memorizing or by praying for others facing challenging times.
These kinds of choices remind me of Proverbs 4:25-26 – if you haven’t read these verses lately, they may also help you as they have helped me. Consider your ways – make level paths for your feet! Make it easy for yourself to turn away from temptation! Of course whether or not I’ve “done well” today to avoid my besetting sins has zero impact on whether God loves and accepts me today. His love and acceptance of me are based completely on His choice to give me the perfect record of Jesus of Nazareth and to credit me with Jesus’ payment for my sin. I simply want to serve Him well out of love for what He’s done for me; I’m not earning His favor or smile today.
When we went to Montana in July, we were thankful that Brody’s dad had set up appointments for us to visit with 3 stores who were willing to display our book! For those of you who are near Lewistown, MT, you can still find a few copies available at The Pantry and Keystone Christian Supply, both on Main Street and also at Albertsons. We heard from The Pantry yesterday that they would like more copies! So we are thankful to partner with them and looking forward to fulfilling that request. To celebrate the good news that they need more copies, Brody and I made one of our favorites from A Recipe for Survival: Chicken Tacos (page 123) with Sister’s Salsa (page 155) and fresh Tortillas (page 115). Since this is one of our favorites, I asked Brody if he wanted me to put away the leftovers before we finished our first serving. (We had learned on previous occasions that we regret a second helping even though we really enjoy the taste and texture of the food.) Brody said yes, so we made it easier for ourselves to eat what we needed and instead of eating simply for pleasure – I put away the leftovers before we ate our tacos… and the result was satisfaction without the pain of overeating! 🙂 And of course that also meant… leftovers for tonight so there is less work for today’s meals!