Saturday, January 8, 2011

Happy New Year...pass the celery

It is very interesting, culturally speaking, that we have placed SUCH an emphasis upon New Year’s resolutions. We roll off our couches every January 1 and make the commitment to...well, mostly lose weight. It makes me think about a movie I watched with my children entitled Over the Hedge. The scene I am thinking about in particular, is when main character, the raccoon, is explaining humans and their behavior to all the other woodland creatures. In a montage of familiar human activities aided by a soliloquy from the perspective of the raccoon, he explains that humans’ lives revolve around food. He sums up their behavior in a single statement, “We eat to LIVE...They live to EAT!”

I bring this up because I am in this category. Again, the festive eating has gotten the best of me and I am in the situation of having to pay piper for my jolly appetite. What I find so fascinating is that the marketing people have us so well-conditioned to repeat the same patterns year after year. They put out the goodies, the cakes, cookies, candies, succulent meats and cheese trays galore all throughout October, November and December. Come January, it’s all gone. Bottled water and diet supplements now greet me at my nearest shopping warehouse. Dang it. I fell for their evil plot again!

It’s not just food, however. I think that most of us have something we want to change, but that darned concupiscence keeps us enamored with pleasing ourselves. We know that we need to go to bed earlier, but we have to get to the end of the book so that our inquisitive minds can be satisfied. We know we should rise fifteen minutes earlier for prayer, but the bed is so warm and cozy. We know we should get the dishes done, but they can wait until tomorrow. Our lives can become shoulda- woulda- coulda- driven if we don’t keep returning to the One who knows how we are to be ordered.

That is not to say that we are machines. Humans are meant to delight in God’s creation. He made it for us. The problem with us is that sometimes we become so infatuated with the other creatures or the creations that the Creator is diminished or even forgotten. That is what has been driving the excess in our modern time. We are so blinded by things...and there are some really cool things indeed...but they are all to be at the service of God, not ending in empty overindulgence.

The interesting thing about all excesses - money, possessions, power, appetites of all sorts, is that eventually we become "weighed down" by what we don't need, and, depending upon the extent of the the buldge, it can be rather difficult to become free from the bondage these things create.

So I’ll be chewing on this advice to myself while I’m gnawing on my celery and sweating on a treadmill.

1 comment:

  1. Here I am clucking my tongue in agreement to your complaints of how easy it is to fall into the marketing ploys regarding overeating and dieting! I always roll my eyes at the magazine covers that scream out about the latest diet fad while showing a picture of a delicious chocolate cake on the front cover! We do tend to talk out of both sides of our mouths, don't we, and listen to others who do the same (such as merchandisers.)

    Anyway, I love your advice to follow the plan of the One who always knows what is best for us. Still, it isn't easy; wasn't meant to be. And, I'm sure that we will constantly struggle with our will vs. His will until He calls us home.

    Great post, Beth!

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