Belief amidst Unbelief

I was never very good at school.

I don’t know why that is, I could pass the tests easily enough, I just never felt challenged. Or, I never really felt like what I was doing was important. I was always selfish and felt like whatever else I wanted to do was more important. Golden Girls marathon? A missed Biology class. New video game? Failed History test.

The result of this malfeasance is that I am not good at studying, or studying with results. I am no longer a student of any university, but I am trying to be a student of health and dietary choices. I am trying to learn about my own body and why it craves things that are terrible for it. I could go the religious route and realize that it is part of my inherent sin nature. When I give in to my human desires, it always ends in disaster. I even blogged just the other day that I wanted to learn bible verses that focused on food to help me stave off the cravings. I think this will be instrumental to my success and I know that every time I have allowed God to make my food decisions they have been good ones.

The other route you could go down is a scientific one. Perhaps my body craves certain things because of the chemicals that are in our highly processed diets. It is very costly to use natural flavors in foods, so the big food companies hired scientists to replicate those flavors. The only problem is that while they did this, they also made the flavors more intense and our brains reacted the only way they could. They yearned for more.

I have been thinking about my food reactions because I had a bad end of the week. I ate out three times. The other day I was hurt by words from a co-worker and found myself at Wendy’s. I convinced myself that I had to get out of the office, that I wanted to go sit in my truck somewhere and read, and the only way to do this was if I grabbed food on the way. Like always (when giving in to temptations) I immediately felt regret at the last bite. Did I feel better? Did the grease of the burger erase the hurt of those words? How can hurt erase hurt?

I made the worst mistake today. Nikki and I ate a whole pizza and cheesesticks between the two of us. You see, we were again trying to erase hurt with hurt. We spent most of this morning in the hospital, a trip that resulted in the loss of one of our dearest friends. She was a wonderful woman who has been fighting breast cancer for a good while, and had to finally succumb. As we left the hospital I asked Nikki if she wanted me to get food. I reminded her that we were going to make our own, healthy pizzas at home today and she turned up her nose. She said “I really want Papa John’s” and I folded. My words cannot make her feel better, so I rode my white horse to Papa Johns and brought home the greasy disc of comfort. This decision I don’t regret as much but I do know that it didn’t make us feel better. An over-full belly doesn’t cover up a wounded heart. This was another chance to let God take over the choices we were too weak to make, and we failed. I really want to think that this will get better, but it won’t. This will be the main fight of my life from now on. I will never not want a bag of M & M’s. I will never not want to eat a whole pizza. I will never not want a giant bowl of cereal (because that’s fun on so many levels). As weak as I am though, I also know that the Lord will take care of me. I want to submit to You. Lord, I believe you can change my cravings. I believe that You are strong for every one of my weaknesses.

I do believe, but help my unbelief.

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13 responses

  1. Ryan and I were talking about psychological disorders earlier this week and he reminded me of the film A Beautiful Mind where these character apparitions continued to plague this man’s mind the rest of his life but he “learned to ignore them” (in the words of our wiser older brother). These familiar and alluring temptations are never going to go away so we have to learn to ignore them but also learn to sort of predict them and be able to see how dangerous that step over the cliff can be. I walked into Victoria’s Secret today, with my wife, and all those lust temptations came back to me, drawing me in but I had to do exactly what Russel Crowe did in the movie and declare that it wasn’t real; it’s not where I find my happiness-it’s a fantasy and will only bring fantastical peace whereas chosen non-rigorous discipline will bring freedom and liberty and true peace.

  2. Sorry also to hear about the loss of this dear friend you and Nikki loved so. They call it comfort food but nothing is more comforting than love in my book. If only we could wake up and see food will not return our love as friends and family will. Find comfort in the fact that you and my dear sweet daughter-in-law where there for this dear friend in prayer and action…..because I know she found comfort during her fight in the fact that she had friends like the both of you.

    • Thank you for your kind words Dad. I always thought I would wake up one day and suddenly have a different relationship to food, but I have realized it will forever be a struggle. But, hey, its the struggles that make life worth living.

  3. I’m so sorry to hear about Priscilla. I pray that you and Nikki can find comfort in the arms of Christ. It really helps me sometimes to actually visualize His arms around me, just as I was always comforted within the arms of my earthly Daddy.

  4. I’m so sorry about your friend, Evan. I know the feeling of using food as a comfort in hard times. When you are looking to fill that enormous hole, you will try just about anything. I’m praying for comfort for you and Nikki and her family. I love you.

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