Oniomania:  It’s That Time of Year

Planting-Onions-1861281I remember the first time I saw oniomania in print.  My eyes read the word as onion-mania, and my brain processed it as a strong desire related to onions.

My confusion was the result of the God-designed partnership that exists between the eyes and brain in which they work together to interpret conflicting signals from the outside world. Even though it may not be reality, we see whatever our brains think we should.

Because the brain processes an immense amount of information as fast as it can, it uses any available shortcuts. According to Stuart Anstis, a vision researcher, the brain has “to find a minimum hypothesis to cover a maximum amount of data.”

When my eyes saw the onio prefix of oniomania, my brain took the shortcut of associating onio with onion.  This is the difference between perception and reality or feelings and facts.

Oniomania is an uncontrollable desire to purchase things, and during the gardening season it could influence your seed purchases.   What about onionmania?  Is it an uncontrollable desire to eat, smell, use, or plant onions?

Are you an oniomaniac?  Are you controlled by an overwhelming desire to purchase the goods of this world and fail to invest in the world to come?  This was the mistake that was made by the fool who built on the shifting sand instead of the solid rock:

Everyone who hears these words of mine and does them is like a wise man who built his house on rock.  The rain fell, the flood came, and the winds beat against that house, but it did not collapse because it had been founded on rock.  Everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.  The rain fell, the flood came, and the winds beat against that house, and it collapsed; it was utterly destroyed!   ~Matthew 67:24-29

What is it that compels you and drives you during this season of your life?  Is it the need to fit in with the world and your group of peers, or to be fit for the world to come and to please the peerless—Jesus Christ?

 

Food by the Truckload

redtIn January of 2015, Ford sold 54,370 trucks.  According to estimates by Ford, the company will be able to build more than 700,000 F-150s annually through the combined production of the Dearborn and Kansas City factories.

This is good news, because the average American eats close to two truckloads of food each year. Based on the weight of the food, you will have to fill the bed of a ½ ton truck twice a year for every person living in your house.

Based on food consumption data collected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average American will annually consume about:

  • 630 pounds of milk, yogurt, cheese and ice cream per year. Of this number, cheese accounts for about 31 pounds and ice cream for 17 pounds.
  • 195 pounds of meat
  • 250 eggs
  • 200 pounds of wheat and other grains. Of this number, 53 pounds is bread.
  • 280 pounds of fruit
  • 428 pounds of vegetables.

 

There’s another truth about the eating habits of the average American—most have more concerne for what fills their plate than that which fills their soul.  Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

The “bread” from God is not measured by calories; it’s measured by the clock.  Paul said to redeem the time and to, “be very careful how you live—not as unwise but as wise, redeeming the time, and  taking advantage of every opportunity, because the days are evil.  For this reason do not be foolish, but be wise by understanding what the Lord’s will is (Ephesians 5:15-17).

This is bread that’s needed by the truckload.  How often do you backup to the Bible for a load of fresh bread, or do you back away and grow stale?

Apples, Tomatoes, and the Curse of God

fruitYou’ve probably heard the story.  It’s the one about Adam, Eve, and the tree of knowledge, and it took place in the Garden of Eden.  In an act of disobedience, Adam and Eve took of the forbidden fruit, and they were banned from and booted out of the Garden.

The myth of that Eden experience is that Adam and Eve ate an apple, but the Bible doesn’t specifically name what it was that they ate.  I disputed the apple assertion earlier this year after I had purchased a tomato.  It had such a deep red and luscious appeal that promised a taste bud-tingling-experience.  I took it home, sliced it, and added it to a sandwich.

After I took one bite of this fine-looking tomato, I drew a deep theological conclusion.  When God cursed the Garden, He must have also cursed a certain variety of tomato.  I’ll call it the supermarket variety because they all have one dominant and pervasive feature:  They are tasteless.  There is no flavor to savor.

The dilemma of tasteless tomatoes is explained in part by author Mark Schatzker in The Dorito Effect.  According to Schatzker, for the past 70 years commercial horticulturists have been focused on yield, pest resistance and appearance at the expense of flavor.

While store-bought tomatoes are no longer tasty, manufactured flavor has been added to Doritos and your munchies, so you’ll crave more.  Schatzker says: “Synthetic-flavor technology makes bland ingredients attractive without supplying the myriad benefits of the real thing. The twin forces of flavor dilution and fake ­flavor have short-circuited the biological basis for mutable appetite . . . Our bodies learn to draw connections between flavors and the physiological responses they signal . . . We can seek out and find what we need, nutritionally, and stop eating once we get it”

Schatzker seems to suggest that it’s not nice to fool with Mother Nature.  I would add that perhaps we shouldn’t try to improve on the design of the Master Designer.

Psalm 84:11

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.