Thursday, March 9, 2017
A Consuming Passion
Let's face it. Admit it. Eating consumes us. We do it not because it is necessary, or because we are hungry, but because this clock inside of us tells us we must eat. More than three times a day it sounds the alarm and sends us searching for another bite or two. Those who sell know how to play us. They know our weakness which is why things like "Twinkies," doughnuts, and candy line the ever narrowing aisle which takes us into the check out area. We did not plan to eat one, but it looks good, and soon we are ripping off the wrapper and devouring it as if we have not eaten in a month.
It makes us wonder sometimes if we are in control of our eating, or if our eating in control of us. The Lenten season invites us to use this passion as a way of re-directing our life. Fasting is a spiritual discipline which is seldom practiced, but one which has potential to help us see how we are controlled by the things around us instead of allowing ourselves to be controlled by the One within us. The Psalmist wrote in the 63rd Psalm, "O God,...Your steadfast love is better than life." Here is a Word written by a man who was consumed with the love of God instead of being consumed by the external things of life which provide temporary gratification.
A good question to ask ourselves as we struggle through a time of fasting is his question. "Is the steadfast love of God more important to me than anything in this life?" Most of us are likely to end up answering "no" if we answer honestly. Lent is about changing the answer. Lent is about repenting of a wrong choice and choosing another. Strange as it may sound, doing without food for spiritual reasons may be just the thing which helps us see the seriousness of our choices.