" For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land. " Song of Solomon

February 29, 2008

Escape Routes

I was stuffed until I switched the TV channel and the program was “All Star Chocolate” on the Food Network. A chocolate craving set in. What’s that all about?

Well for one thing it’s marketing. Those who have something to sell must figure out what it will take to get us to buy it. They know we must first desire it before we will buy it.

That which we can’t “see” won’t be desired. Hence the visual image is the first wave of attack. They know once we see it, they’ve got our attention.

The power of marketing through the media of suggestion is ever present. It can catch us off guard when we are not even hungry. BAM! Whatever is being proffered is the thing we must have lest we die.

What is the solution to this dilemma? We’re in this world and can’t leave it. So, we must live with the dilemma. To survive, we must decide on a strategy. How do we deal with the temptation?

Well, Eve, in the garden, had to deal with the same. The tempter whispered in her ear, taunting her concerning the forbidden fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He planted thoughts in her head that were not true. He deceived her and she soon believed that God was withholding something good from her and Adam.

She soon was picking the forbidden fruit and serving it to Adam and they both did eat. BAM! From that one act of willful disobedience judgment was passed upon the whole world.

I think if we examined what happened to Eve and how she could have handled things differently we would see how we should respond when we are tempted.

When the tempter, Satan, came to Eve and whispered in her ear, he told her lies. She listened to the lies, believed the lies and then she succumbed. Her way of thinking/believing led to her way of acting/behavior.

What if she had rejected those lies with the truth? What if she had said to the tempter: “I don’t need that fruit because if that fruit were necessary for my welfare God would not forbid it because God is love and always has my and Adam’s best interest at heart.

I imagine that having rejected the lies and countering the lies with truth, she would not have picked the fruit and served it to Adam and they would not have eaten and the world would not have “fallen” that day.

We might apply this same principle when we are tempted.

Note the progression of temptation: first comes the knowledge of the thing--seeing it, hearing about it; then comes the believing that the implied message is true; then comes the wanting/desire. Unless we resist this desire, we will stumble, we will fall.

At the point of temptation the only way of escape is a truth encounter. When we are desiring the thing, wanting to experience it, to “taste“ it per se, because we believe it will be good, we can say to ourselves: “self--it may “taste” good, but tomorrow you will be tasting regret; “tasting” this desired thing will hurt you---like a serpent it will bite you and the result will be death---the death of your goal, the death of your dream.”

If we don’t avail ourselves of this way of escape, we will find ourselves doing as Eve.

In the case of my desiring chocolate, having seen it on TV and believing it would be good to eat, I would progress from that profound desire to looking through the cabinets and pantry for some chocolate anything. Should I find some, having it in my hands, it will be even harder to resist, and once having tasted it, having put it into my mouth, I will have great difficulty limiting how much of it I eat.

For me, today, my escape is writing this post. As I sit here typing these words I am having a truth encounter. And I find it easy to resist getting up and scrounging for chocolate.

As Lady Macbeth said “out damned spot” I say “out damned chocolate”. I will not eat you today. Someday, but not today. And when I do it will be because I decided and not some marketer.
In the New Testament Jesus Christ said “ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free”. Truth will free us from bondage, whatever that bondage might be. Truth begins with our mind, with our thinking.

The apostle Paul in the letter to the Romans says to be transformed “by the renewing of your mind”. Hence transformation begins with the mind, whether that transformation concerns our relationship to food or to God.

Because we are constantly being bombarded with all manner of "stuff" coming in, we must also constantly renew our mind, by examining if that which is coming in is truth or error.

Jesus also said "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." I Corinthians 10:13

There is an escape, a way out when we are tempted by food. Often it is shown to us and we don't avail ourselves of it.

How many of us have been shopping and picked up something and put it in our cart all the while thinking "I shouldn't buy that". Right then...right there...in that moment in time, is our escape route. The minute that thought surfaces, the way of escape surfaces: put it back on the shelf.

All too often, we don't ...instead we succumb to the temptation, deciding in our mind not to resist. We think "but I want it". We ignore the escape route.

Should we decide to go ahead and purchase that item, let it be because we've made a deliberate clearly thought out choice. Let it be our own personal conviction, and not the power of suggestion---like seeing the food on the store shelf---- that befalls us seemingly at every turning point.

And let me say here, when we do have such a thought: "I shouldn't buy this"....when it comes to food, let us ask ourselves why? All too often I've discovered I have mental issues I need to deal with....issues where I am off balanced in my thinking and relationship with food.

As I've examined my thinking I've had to re-evaluate some of my perceptions about food. Some were erroneous...and I was in bondage to that error unnecessarily. My thinking "I shouldn't buy this" was unfounded.

When I started my most recent weight loss effort, I realized a lot of my issues had a mental connection. While it is true that excess calories will make me fat, there is more to it than me just cutting back on my food take.

It is no easier for me to cut back on my food intake---to just quit eating---than it is for an anorexic person to eat. The world doesn't seem to have a problem accepting that...that an anorexic person can't eat. The world doesn't understand it, yet they accept it, and are even compassionate toward that poor soul who can't eat.

But when it comes to those of us who can't stop eating, we get no compassion...only harsh judgement, and we are often deemed as big fat pigs. It's a shame I think that society is so harsh and judges those who are hefty to be undisciplined and lazy.

I have a post I'm working on explaining why I believe there is an emotional connection to overeating in cases where excess weight is in the range of 30 or more pounds. You might say I had a "duh" moment----the kind where you slap yourself up side the head and think "you idiot' how could you have missed "seeing" this---quite unlike the "light bulb" moment where you think "wow" and are awed by the new found understanding.
"....there have been many times when I have shed bitter tears, when if I had understood the situation better, I would have celebrated my good luck instead."


I am not a doctor and all information, suggestions, etc are my personal opinion only.