It’s Easter–we’re celebrating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead! And rightly should we–in any way we can possibly celebrate! We had a feast this afternoon after church–forget eating healthy, ignore the calories–that can all wait until tomorrow! We had ham, scalloped potatoes, and about six side dishes. Everything was awesome, including the homemade rolls–I ate two of them, slathered with butter. I knew there was a delicious lemon meringue pie waiting at the end of the meal, but that didn’t slow me down. And I didn’t just have one piece of pie, I had half of someone else’s as well, with a cappucchino to finish it off.
After lunch, I had started cleaning up when it hit me. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I felt like passing out, and crawled off to the sofa, leaving the kitchen in a shambles. I grabbed a pillow and prayed for sleep to quickly overtake me as I felt lightheaded and miserable. My prayers were immediately answered, and I think I was out for about half an hour, as my blood sugar fought to recover from the assault it had encountered.
When I awoke, I laid there and wondered why I had eaten so much. Yes, it felt good while it was going in my mouth, but the lasting effects weren’t so great. I felt like a slug most of the rest of the day. I recovered enough to play Scrabble with the family, but I continued to chastise myself for my frenzied, gluttonous fit. I had momentarily forgotten that I prefer to eat healthy not because I am self-righteous or think I’m better than others or that I’m obsessed with how I look in a bathing suit (oh, please!) but simply because I FEEL better when I make an effort to limit my intake of sugar and simple carbs and highly processed foods.
So tomorrow is Monday, the sun will rise in the morning and it will be a new day. And like every day, it’s an opportunity for a new beginning. And I’ll be hoping someone else will finish up that luscious pie–which tastes so good but leaves me feeling not so good in the end. I’ll remind myself that it’s worth it to deny immediate gratification and reap longer term benefits. I’ll hopefully take a nice long walk or exercise in some way that will get my blood flowing, my metabolism stimulated, and my feel-good endorphins circulating!
Was it a sin? Oh, who knows! If it was, God forgives me. It’s not a big deal. But there’s something to consider here–I know the right way to eat, and I pay a price when I don’t. A little bit of pie, once in a while, one roll–would have been perfectly fine. Pie and hot rolls fresh from the oven are good things–wonderful things! That is, when eaten in moderation, when a little self control is shown.
There are parallels that have much farther reaching effects. There are so many good things that God has created for us to enjoy, but when we use them in wrong ways, we can suffer incredibly. I’m thinking of someone I’ve been trying to help who is suffering deep emotional wounds because of a casual sexual encounter–wrongful use of something God created to be a blessing. It’s not that God is angry and can’t forgive her, but that this woman can’t forgive herself. Why does God hate sin so much? Not because He is so personally offended, but because He knows the damage it causes.
God is not a harsh, moralistic goody-goody whose ears burn at the thought of sin, but a Father who loves us intensely and knows exactly what we need to be healthy in body, soul, and spirit. Not only will a diet that consists of soda pop and twinkies make us miserable, but so will a heart given over to unforgiveness or to anger or to pornography.
We’re on a journey, learning lessons along the way. We are hopefully beginning to understand why God has told us to do certain things and not to do certain other things. It’s not a random list of commands, but commands all designed for our ultimate good. If I want the best for me, I need to pay attention.
I’m going to bake another lemon meringue pie next Easter. But I’m going to remind myself that I’ll feel better later if I simply enjoy a nice little piece–I don’t want TOO MUCH of a good thing!