Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: GLUTTONY (overindulgence and overconsumption) (01/15/15)
By Linda Goergen
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ADD TO MY FAVORITES
when life pulls down the curtain
you hide behind
and gives you a glimpse of how God sees you.
The mirror never reflects
you tell yourself,
when you refuse to look;
into the naked truth.
Year upon year
it was so easy to convince myself
were only from sinful behaviors,
such as sexual or gambling,
or only from harmful substances
like drugs, tobacco and alcohol,
when churches took pride
in hosting huge buffets,
where everyone laughed and joked
about the great quantities of food
all, needing to be sampled.
And I heard plenty of sermons
about my ideas of addictions,
but never recall hearing even one
on the sin
of eating from want,
more than from need.
It was all too easy to justify
my love of food,
to allow myself to be absorbed
in the pleasure of it.
It was also easy
my anger and indignation
when someone would;
or worse suggest that I;
leave perfectly good food
on the plate—to be thrown out.
Even if I was already full,
being uncomfortably stuffed
was easily rationalized as better than wasting.
To squander even small amounts of food;
with so many starving in the world;
seemed plain sinful to me.
I knew full well what the bible said
about taking care of our bodies,
but I believed I was doing pretty good at that.
I wasn’t that much overweight,
certainly not compared to so many people.
And though I noticed myself getting more tired
after a heavy meal,
that was easily chalked up to getting older.
I had been giving some thought
to restricting some things from my diet,
but as the news, doctors, and countless studies
seemed to be forever contradicting themselves,
something deemed as being good for you one day,
judged as harmful the next,
I got fed up, trying to keep up,
and I figured just let my own tastes suffice.
I thanked God daily for my food,
but never saw the need
to pray for guidance on what to eat.
And I cajoled myself
that an over abundance of food
was a true blessing from God.
Being able to grab a bag of chips, or cookies,
a pizza or some leftovers—anything
to munch on
as I settled down to relax,
I counted as one of life’s simple pleasures
and I thanked God for it.
When guilt would try and slap me
with the realization
that I had mindlessly consumed
a whole bag, or whole pizza
or all of whatever
I had intended just to munch on,
I never saw it as a lack of self control,
I simply saw it as soothing comfort food,
doing its job.
The worst was not realizing,
that I was turning to food for comfort,
instead of turning to God…
until I woke up hearing, “Mr. Christian,”
you have had a heart attack”
and while in the haze of absorbing that,
hearing a whisper (from where I do not know),
“He was just a glutton, it was bound to happen.”
And then— vision upon vision
of that truth flooding me.
One occurrence from just the previous month,
hit me like a tsunami,
its ugly truth drowning me in the memory,
of my church
calling a three day fast—for a great need—
griping, complaining, persuading myself
NOT eating was unhealthy.
I sacrificed my morning juice,
to convince myself, the church,
that I had fasted,
that I had cared about that need—
but God was not fooled,
gluttony had ruled,
and all I had really cared about
was missing some food.
nothing can be as frightening as reality—
except the thought
of our false realities
separating us from God.
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