I have been mindful of how and what I eat as I could certainly benefit from losing some weight. As I try to adjust my habits I have noticed something about the way that I feel after eating or not eating certain things. There was a day that ate very healthy. I avoided sugar and carbs while eating vegetables and controlling urges.
At the end of that day, I was agitated. I really wanted to walk into the kitchen and eat something bad to feel better. That was a pretty big revelation. I was eating to feel better. I was eating for comfort.
My wife and I have been very intentional about spending time with each other without the kids. We try to get out once a week. When we had some extra cash, we went shopping and the time we spent together was used to buy stuff that we had put off for quite a while. It was fun and it felt good. When we had out next night out, we were tempted to go and do the same thing we had done because we were entertained and even joyful during the spending.
The feelings experienced when we indulge in any particular behavior are not necessarily bad. Operating from those feelings, however, is dangerous and ultimately destructive or wasteful if not kept in some kind of order. The comfort seeks to replace the Comfort if given room to. The joy seeks to replace the Joy. The emotions drawn from legitimate needs escalate to perversions when we allow the temporary fix to substitute for the eternal Fix.
Denying ourselves of everything we desires is not exactly and American value. The idea of going without is not something most of us believe to be part of our birthright. As a result, we are an overweight nation of debt driven spenders seeking to scratch any given itch immediately. The chase has been justified by the culture and the culture has become indicative of the chase. As a result, at least in part, our economy is fragile at best and our place in the world is not what it once was.
People have championed the idea of putting God’s name on buildings and prayer in school with passion and persistence. Until we replace the gods of our stomachs and bank accounts, the claims on our money and institutions are hollow. The promise and need for Joy and Comfort can only be satisfied by the Supplier of our real need. The sacrifice of fullness for the pleasure of the temporary creates an idol of self which leads us towards an orphans cry for more. We don’t have to settle for the scraps of orphans when the abundance which sons and daughters enjoy is available if only we will sacrifice enough of our selfishness to allow for Adoption.