Saturday, December 10, 2016

Given to Appetite


“When you sit to dine with a ruler, note well what is before you,
and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.
Do not crave his delicacies, for that food is deceptive.”

Proverbs 23:1-3

We’re on the brink of the overindulgence holidays. We’re polishing off the last of the Halloween candy; and the Thanksgiving leftovers. And now there’s Christmas and Hanukkah, followed by the reinvention promise of New Year’s? Who is groaning out there already? It’s insane.

Yes, we’re entering the valley of the shadow of the appetite holidays; if there’s anything to overdo, we will find it, won’t we? Feasts, eggnog, holiday candy, flowing alcohol and overspending are just a few tasty options, which, one way or another, usually leave us filled with regret later on, as we deal with some form of hangover.

Yep, happy holidays, pass the Ibuprofen, Alka-Seltzer and a pillow to scream into! The joy of the season, huh?

Admit it, the holidays have a way of tapping into our appetites, cleverly masked as celebrating and family togetherness. Those of you out there who are entertaining fantasies of shoving the holiday turkey, stuffing included, over a relative’s head in the hopes of getting them to shut up know what I’m talking about. Those of us entertaining such fantasies opt out, not because of nobility and loving Godly natures; it’s more about wasting good food.

So, we concentrate on drowning our sorrows in our appetites of choice. Bring on the carbs, the booze and the credit cards; let’s get through this somehow!

We believe the lie of the satisfied appetite.

Being this long in the game with my own issues, I’m learning that, when it comes to our tricky carnal natures, there’s no such thing. When it comes to matter of the appetite, the name of the game is more, more, more! And then some more piled on top of that! There! That’ll fix everything! That’ll make everything all better!

So, we consume whatever, however and in the chosen amounts we desire. But it’s all deceptive; the appetite we struggle with seems to act as a spiritual barometer. It registers as our chosen God substitute. And, because it is only a substitute, a counterfeit attempt, at best, it never fulfills us. So, what’s the answer we choose if we’re not careful? Gimme more! More booze, pills, mashed potatoes, candy, shopping! We may say things like, “I want to forget how unhappy I am! And I can’t shove the holiday turkey on my loved one’s head.”

 We’re never fulfilled, but our souls (our minds, wills and emotions) are still starving!

“Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them.”

Psalms 107:5

You know that aftermath feeling from a family get together or a holiday party? You know that feeling of trying to summon up the will and courage to clean the trashed house, medicating that industrial size headache (and stomach ache) and squinting at the credit card bills? Well, imagine that’s the reality of your souls when substitute after substitute still seem to fail to create peace, comfort and relief. And why is it like this? Because, for all of our planning, shopping, feasting, drinking, attempting to be merry, numb or obliterated, we fail to keep the main thing the main thing: our fulfillment is connected to God. Period.

“When you sit to dine with a ruler, note well what is before you,
and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.
Do not crave his delicacies, for that food is deceptive.”

Proverbs 23:1-3

Proverbs 23:1-3, indeed, may sound extreme and grizzly when we deal with our appetites. It’s by no means, an endorsement to slit our throats. More accurately, it follows the modern day advice you may have heard around the way: “check yourself before you wreck yourself.”

Whatever appetites we are challenged by, this holiday season and beyond, let’s get real with God about them- and go to Him with them! He has promised to satisfy and fill us.

“For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.”

Psalms 107:9

Let’s give God a try! We have tried everything else, right?

Copyright © 2016 by Sheryle Cruse





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