Oh my gracious, I love food.
I love cooking, baking, and presentation. The more color and texture that’s involved, the happier I am to share a meal with friends and family.
Usually, I am a fairly healthy eater. I love fruits and vegetables, chicken and fish, whole grains; and my most recent favorite, quinoa. In addition, I have been running every other day in preparation of my 5k (just a few weeks away!). All this to say, I usually do pretty good…. that is until you put hungry me in front of a table filled with desserts… At this point I am usually a goner. Kryptonite.
I spent this Fourth celebrating at the home of some family friends. Before dinner, I made the rather lofty decision that I was not going to be eating any desserts that evening. After dinner, I found myself singing an entirely different song as I stood IN FRONT of that very table I swore off, talking and eating (and eating and talking…). Before I knew it, I had over-eaten, up to my ears in dessert.
Over the last couple days I have found myself thinking about my unfortunate little fiasco with the dessert table, relating it to my spiritual life. How often do I start off ingesting all the right things? How often do I swear I won’t do something, only to in fact find myself getting sick off the very thing I swore I would never do? Unfortunately, the answer is too often.
I am grateful for God’s little, simple, ways He chooses to remind us. I so appreciate Him taking me by the hand and gently reminding me that it’s not simply about what I ingest. Although being in His word, communicating with Him, and spending time with others who love Jesus wholly is critical to my relationship with Jesus; where I position myself throughout my day is so important. What conversations am I allowing myself to be apart of? What am I listening to? Where are my thoughts fixating?
One of my favorite concepts used in the New Testament is to flee and pursue. Oftentimes, we see the flee and equate it a term of defeat. The danger I see in concentrating on the flee alone, is that it becomes a negative term. We think of Christianity as a list of dos and don’ts. We forget what comes after the flee.
But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. –1 Timothy 6:11-12
So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. –2 Timothy 2:22-23
It’s about the pursuit. It’s about Jesus. If I truly want to love and honor Jesus, if I desire to be like Him, I will naturally flee from the things that He destains. If you pursue righteousness, you naturally flee from evil.
Back to the case of the dessert table…
My problem was where I was standing. I allowed myself to become distracted. Because of where I was, my natural reaction was to ingest what was before me. I made it easy for myself to take in the exact things I swore I wouldn’t just one hour before. If I would simply walked away I would have eaten much [much] less…
I need to be careful that I am being proactive in where I am positioned, who I spend my time with, what I read and who I listen to, and where I am allowing my thoughts to lead me.
My prayer for both myself and for you is that we both recognize when we are standing in unhealthy places, and that in those moments, we turn to Jesus and run towards Him. May we not fixate on the flee, but rather the gift of the pursuit.