Eat This, Not That

“I believe who you are and how you live should raise questions,” the old monk said to us.  “Then, you can turn those questions into conversations about living a life dedicated to God.”  Time had stolen color from his hair and paling face, but not from his spirit.  Passion overflowed from his lips as he divulged seedlings of Christian wisdom:

Live for a purpose greater than the globe.  Stand out.  Raise questions.

All too often, we hear the exact opposite.  The world wants us to be exactly like it.  It wants us to settle.  It blares messages of conformity.

Which is why chasing God-sized dreams can feel so risky.  After all, to chase God we have to take risks.  We risk our past reputations.  Our financial security (if you’re like me and aspire to be a writer).  Sometimes even friends or family members.

Basically, we have to risk the world.  And the world doesn’t like that.

So it shouts louder, reminding us of everything we could lose in this huge gamble.  People we know may even echo its message.  We all live in the world, after all, and sometimes it tastes good.  Why on earth would we want to sacrifice this juicy feast for something unseen?

Their confusion seems reasonable.

Say, for instance, I am starving (which, for me, is typical).  So naturally, I drive to McDonald’s for extreme caloric replenishment.  I plop down and place my fresh, cherished Big Mac in front of me on the table.  My stomach churns in gleeful anticipation.  My mouth widens for this savory, satisfying meal…

Then someone takes it and stuffs it in their mouth.  They swallow.  The juicy goodness is gone.

How would you feel?  As someone who values her value meal, I’d be tempted to throw down.  So I can understand how those who feast on the world would be appalled when we threaten to take it away from ourselves.

However, when the world shouts at us, it only tells one side of the story.  It tells us everything we’ll lose when we walk away.  It reminds us our Big Mac will vanish.  And it’s true.

But what if, instead of someone stealing our greasy Big Mac and eating it themselves, they took it from our plate and replaced it with a thick, tender steak and mounds of creamy mashed potatoes?

Eat This…

…Not That!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s what God does.  He leads us from the things that will ultimately not replenish us and gives us Himself–the only thing that will.  He gives us the better option.

The world hates to admit that something other than itself is what’s best for us.  So it fries up the junk food and dangles it in front of our noses, telling us we can scarf it down if only we choose to do so.  But what’s really dangled in front of us is rarely edible.  Usually the bait is money, esteem, or empty relationships.

“Are you sure you want to risk your [fill in the blank]?” the world may taunt.  “It’s your choice, but if you stick with me, I’ll give you whatever you want.”

If and when the world tempts you, remind it of the promises God makes.  The promises that, unlike the world, God never breaks.  After all, the world does not offer what we are wired to want.  We are designed to love and worship God, and that’s the one thing the world cannot give.  Despite the smokes, mirrors, and convincing deceit, the world can never truly satisfy.  So delight in the Lord and trust that He will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4).

Then, together let’s see what kind of questions we can raise by choosing to eat steak.

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