Friday, August 26, 2011
That Was Stupid
Several years ago my doctor told me to limit my fat intake as well as my carbohydrates. One for my gallbladder that isn't functioning as well as it should (common in women after the age of forty - wonderful), the other for blood surgar issues. What do I do? Crave the foods I know I shouldn't have. So, why am I tempted to indulge in what I know will make me violently ill? I tell myself a lie. If I limit the frequency and the amount, I might just get away with it - this time. The problem is, when I get away with it once, I believe I can do it again, and again. Pretty soon I'm doing it all the time, and then suffer the dire consequences of doing what I know I shouldn't, wondering why I am having trouble. It's a game of Russian Roulette I can't seem to resist.
I do this with all kinds of rules or commandments, not just my health. The story of Adam and Eve is a classic example. Many interpretations focus on their broken relationship with God, but I found an additional gem. For years I condemned Eve for causing us all to live with the results of sin. After all she is the one who first gave into temptation and then led Adam into it as well, yet I can't even refuse small amounts of foods that I know will make me miserable, so how can I can point my finger at her without pointing it at myself?
True, ice cream (for example) is not an apple from the Tree of Good and Evil. It doesn't cause the death of another (although I sometimes wish I would just die), it is a symbol of something deeper. It signifies how far I will sacrifice my comfort to taste the forbidden, to indulge in my desires, even those I know are harmful to me. So far I have been lucky, my indulgences have not taken any one's life, not even my own - as yet, but if you fail in small things, the chances are greater you will also fail in bigger ones.
I don't have any answer or secret other than to trust God to help me through my failures and to give me strength to avoid the next pitfall, big or small. He has promised no sin is too grievous to be forgiven - as long as I repent and ask for forgiveness. Believe me, I am repenting now while I am uncomfortable.
Adding to this, I'd like to blame it all on my partner in crime, just like Adam tried to do. My husband has horrible sweet tooth and can't pass the ice cream or desert section in the grocery store without coming home with something. Just having these foods in the house is a tremendous temptation, much like the Tree of Good and Evil was to Eve. You could lay bets she hovered around it on several occasions, not touching, but certainly flirting. She did tempt Adam, but she didn't hold his nose and force the forbidden fruit down his throat, and neither did my husband. I succumbed to the temptation on my own.
I think about the heroic men and women of Scripture who willing fasted for days, faced horrific deaths, and never denied their faith. I can't even pass up the ice cream let alone die a martyr's death. But, you know what? God still loves me in spite of my flaws and He will give me the strength I need to face anything, yes, anything as long as I can trust Him, and not myself.
Posted by Cecilia M Pulliam