I recently started a study going through the book Made to Crave by Lysa Terkeurst. The premise of the book is that God designed us to crave Him, but so often in this world, we are bombarded with messages that say we need to crave something other than God. By listening to these messages, we turn to something in order to fulfill our deepest needs. For many, that something has become food. In a society where thin is praised and young girls are given the message that it is more important to be thin than healthy, the battle between wanting to be healthy and enjoying the food we have becomes, indeed, a raging battle. Food, though, is not everyone’s battle. There are many things that compete for our attention.
For me, I do struggle with the thoughts that I don’t measure up because I don’t look a certain way. I went through a period where I pretended to eat while really starving my body of the nutrients it needed. I remember pouring a little milk in the bottom of a cereal bowl, putting a spoon in it and then putting it in the sink so others would think I had eaten breakfast. While my self esteem battle is never ending, it isn’t really food that wins as the biggest competitor for my heart.
The internet is a wonderful tool when used properly. Social media like Facebook and Pinterest give modern day citizens the ability to stay connected with family and find a creative outlet for their days. However, if you have a personality that leans to the addictive side, something like the internet can quickly become a looming monster. I tell myself I’m going to sign on to quickly check e-mail, send a quick Facebook message to one of my kids, or find a recipe I pinned that I want to try for dinner. Before I realize it, I have lost an hour or more and I have nothing to show for it. At first, this didn’t bother me. I would just do the tasks that were on my to-do list later or the next day. After all, I would rationalize, I have raised kids and taken care of a house and husband for the last 25 years. Those kids are now grown. This is my time to do what I want to do. I’ve earned it–so says the world. Take care of yourself first is the world’s mantra. Only problem with that is that is not God’s mantra.
Years ago, as a child in a neighborhood vacation Bible school, I learned that JOY stood for Jesus, Others and You. Jesus tells us that the first shall be last. He says those who try to hold onto their life will lose it. It doesn’t seem to me that the mantra that “I deserve my ME time” is Biblical. Don’t get me wrong. Moms and wives do need to care for themselves. Exercise, rest and nutrition are important, for if mom is sick, that messes up the whole home flow. But is an hour on Facebook or a couple hours pinning all sorts of things on Pinterest really taking care of me? Or is it just me being irresponsible? Is it me not being willing to sacrifice my self–my desires–for the sake of the family God gave me? Is it me being lazy?
So, I start this study knowing there are definite food issues in my life–mainly diet soda–but these food issues are not as detrimental to me right now as the time spent online. I am hoping to learn to turn to Jesus more and more instead of the mind-numbing, absentness of a computer screen.