Sodas, Saints, and Sin

big-gulpIf you’re like many Americans, you may believe that bigger is better.  Super-sized meals may be the  proof that this is faulty reasoning and that moderation might be a better approach to life.

In 1950 or shortly thereafter, McDonalds was selling 7 oz sodas, burgers that weighed in at 3.9 oz, and French fries in a portion of 2.4 oz.  Following the bigger is better mantra, the servings at McDonalds have increased  to 42 oz sodas, 12 oz burgers, and 6.7 oz fries.

The result of all this fast food grazing, is a raising in the average weight of Americans.  Women now weigh about 18.5% more than they did 50 years ago and the weight of the average man has increased 17.6%.

I find it interesting that during this same time period there has been both an increase in physical cravings and a decrease in spiritual appetite.  I’m not saying the food industry is the cause of our spiritual malnutrition, but we are a nation that is spiritually anemic.

The prophet Jeremiah ministered in a time like this.  It was a time when people had forgotten God and a time when the emphasis was physical and not spiritual.  It was to these people that Jeremiah said:

“My people have done two things wrong. They have abandoned me, the fountain of life-giving water. They have also dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that can’t hold water.”  ~Jer. 2:13

A society that turns its back on God is one that embraces a philosophy that simply cannot hold water.  It might grow in size due to government programs, and it might increase in weight due to financial gain; however the only true hope is to return to the “fountain of life-giving water.”

Cravings

Due to my love of ice cream, I often joke and say I have a body by Braums.  I have a particular fondness for their yummy Rocky Road.  Because I have trouble controlling my ice cream cravings, I keep very little of it at home.

My craving for ice cream is not hunger related.  There are many times that I feel hungry, but I have never felt the pangs of starvation.  The hunger I feel is directly connected to the fist sized part of my body that I call my stomach.

Even though the average stomach is just the size of an adult’s clenched fist, it has an above average capacity to influence the behavior of the rest of the body.  When a person is really hungry, he wants to eat his food.  When a person is starving he may even riot or steal to get food.

When we look at the ministry of Jesus, we find several cases in which he fed the people.  One of the more remarkable stories is when He used the bread and fish of the small boy to feed many people.

A key point of this story is that Jesus did not take the bread from the small boy, but the lad gave what he had to Jesus.  Even though the little guy had very little himself, he had a craving.  His craving was to help others who were hungry.

This young boy gave a swift kick to the can of logic, and showed his faith through his actions.  He craved the will of God, and he did what he could do.  And God, I think He smiled.

Then, there is you and me.  What about us?  Will we allow our lives to be controlled by the desires of our belly?  Let’s learn from the lad and crave the presence and will of God for our lives.