Real Talk: Junk food

I haven’t met anyone who anyone who enjoys their post Taco Bell experience. Yes, I’m referring to those long nights on the toilet after a trip to good ole taco bell. It destroys me every time, but I go anyways because Taco bell is so delicious. And it’s cheap, also they are everywhere. Each time I walk into Taco bell, my mind is like “Marlie. This never ends well. why are you doing this?” But, those loaded potato grillers are so good, and their chalupas man. They hit that spot. And then afterwards, I kick myself and am filled with regret and gas. I promise myself I’ll never do it again and then a week or so passes, the memory of the bathroom agony fades and all I can remember is the sweet taste of potatoes, cheese, sour cream all wrapped up in a warm tortilla. I’ve talked with people about this before and many have shared similar experiences. And it’s not just Taco bell, it’s that greasy burger or the foods at the State Fair. It’s junk food. Junk is in the name for a reason. I crave Junk food.  Just like my flesh craves sin:

.The Sin Cycle (in parenthesis, the taco bell cycle) 
1.There’s the temptation to sin, (oh look a taco bell commercial!) 
2.a little argument goes on in our head, (taco bell never ends well…but it’s so delicious…hmmm)
3.we give in to sin, (TACO BELL NOM NOM NOM)
4. instant gratification follows, (mmm so good) 
5. Consequence: (crap…literally)
6.shame and guilt. (gah, why did i do that?)
7.Finally, the promise that we’ll never do it again. 
8. Repeat steps 1-7.  

Craving: I heard that one of the keys to losing weight and keeping it off is eliminating the craving for junk food by replacing the junk with good stuff. Water instead of soda, an apple instead of fries. My body feels different after eating a healthy meal (fruits, veggies, protein.) I have energy that I can spend on a light jog or playing basketball. Instead of camping in a bathroom all night. I watched a YouTuber talk about how to fight temptation. It’s not about will power, It’s about dining at the table with Jesus instead of eating dirt. Leaving the dirt, and replacing it with God. Returning to sin was compared to a dog returning to his own vomit. Gross. That’s what steps 1-7 is. We settle for our own vomit when God has a buffet for us. Spending time in  His Word, His presence. Listening to A  worship song.  Going on a A walk in nature. Prayer. All very good things to do instead of spending hours upon hours soaking up ‘the world’ (via tv, radio, music, movies.) 

Will power: When I was actively dieting at college (super hard when you’re eating at the caf everyday) my mom texted me something at lunch I’ll never forget. “Marlie, take it one meal at time. Today at lunch, choose to eat better things. Then at dinner, do the same. One meal at a time.” It was easy to get overwhelmed with having to eat healthy ALL THE TIME. That’s why I gave up so many times. I’d mess up once and I’d quit. I find myself in the same struggle with sin. I had to be perfect. I had a check-list in my head of my ‘good deeds’ and ‘Bad deeds.’  At night, i’d tally up the good checks and the bad checks and determined whether or not this whole “spiritual walk” thing was worth it based on if I had screwed up too much that day. Don’t give up. It is difficult.  It’s quite literally a daily struggle us humans have with sin. Pride, lust, idolizing, laziness, the temptation is all around us. Just like those taco bell posters for their new breakfast menu. Tempting us to choose them today. to worship them today.  Turn away from them. The satisfaction they provide is only momentary, but the satisfaction Christ provides is eternal. turn away from sin, but do not stop there. You must turn to Christ. Gaze at the Cross, feel his scars, look in his eyes and you’ll find love, grace, satisfaction. And day by day, choice by choice, you choose to live spiritually healthy instead of indulging in the junk of the world. 

Drowning in the Mud

I watched  my first scary movie in theaters. Woman in Black. This isn’t about that though…well kind of. It’s about one of the scenes in the movie. I really didn’t catch the plot of the movie, because I was so terrified of some freaky lady popping out at me at any moment, but for some reason harry potter was in this marsh/swamp. It was disgusting. It looked like chunky tar. Well, in the midst of the chunky tar swamp there’s a cross. Harry potter stumbles through the marsh, falling almost all the way in as he made his way to the cross.  Once he got to the cross, He submerged himself and began to look for something…i think hidden treasure? or proof that aliens exist? I don’t know. But he reappeared. completely covered in the gross chunky tar. And I almost gagged. He looked disgusting.

 God is disgusted with sin. Like harry potter in the swamp, we are stumbling around, covered in black tar. The only thing harry potter had to hold on to was the Cross. He would have drowned had the cross not been there….the marsh would have consumed him!  How true is that of us! We have no hope without the Cross! No hope without Jesus. God doesn’t want us to try and clean ourselves, or try and live perfectly before we come to Him. Harry was so covered in marshmud, any attempt of him trying to clean himself would have been futile…and he would have drowned.

 So what are you waiting for? Stop trying to live this life on your own…you will sink. Stop trying to clean yourself before you come before the throne…Jesus died on the cross so that when God sees you He sees perfection…not your sins. Cling to the cross. You will not be consumed.

 

 

 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,

   for his compassions never fail.

 They are new every morning;

   great is your faithfulness.

 

Lamentations 3:22-23 (NIV)

Candy Crushed

I told myself I wouldn’t do it, but I did. There was no way that I’d get into that, but weeks later, I’m neck-deep. Truth is, I need help.

I’m a Candy Crush Addict.

The bright colors, and realistic looking candy and catchy music got me hooked.There are adorable smiling characters cheering you on as you journey through levels that resemble the 90’s board game “Candy Land.” I reached level 35 recently, and I was stoked. Finally got out of lemonade lake or whatever.  However, I recently found out that there are hundreds levels. HUNDREDS. You mean…I’ll never win? Yet the fact that there is no “winning” hasn’t stopped me from spending hours a week playing this game. Why? Why even try? Well, It’s those short bursts of happiness I get after winning. They are rather addicting. I spend weeks on a level and I finally win. But do I really win if another level is just thrown at my face to taunt me for another few weeks?  It’s like i’m trapped in a cycle I can’t get out of. No matter how frustrated or upset I get at a level, I keep playing. I play during meals, meetings, when I’m with friends. It’s consuming my life.  In the end it’s all just mindless fun, a to way pass time, right? And it’s okay because everyone else is doing it, too, right?  And in the end, if I decide to, I can just delete the app from my phone.

If only it was that easy in life. We all get stuck in cycles of sin; whether it’s addiction or just a never ending search for that new thing that will satisfy you. The hole in your heart can not be filled with a new car, that new boyfriend, or by being the most popular kid in school. These things aren’t inherently bad, but they can become bad if you become consumed by one of these things, obsessing over it…I remember telling myself “If I could just pass this level…then i’ll be happy.” false. Sure I was happy for a bit, but then it wore off. Same with when I try and find my satisfaction in new stuff or pleasing people.  I got a new phone and it’s great  but I still want more. I make someone happy, and that makes me happy but they’ll be upset again later. Everything under the sun is meaningless,  stuff breaks and you can’t please everyone.

Addiction is a very real problem. Drinking, drugs, cutting, pornography. It’s a very dark world full of sin that consumes and takes over people’s lives. We use justification and comparison as defense mechanisms. I saw a facebook status from someone that said in a nutshell “I’m sure glad I never got addicted to candy crush. Those people waste a lot of time playing it.” To me it read “gosh, I’m so glad I’m better than all those candy crush addicts…i don’t waste any time with my life because I don’t play candy crush.” and it really rubbed me the wrong way. Whether you play candy crush or bubble breaker or Call of duty, wasting time=wasting time. And it reminded me of how judgemental us Christians can be. No matter how we sin, internal or external, doesn’t make a bit of difference to God. Sin is sin. Jesus called out the pharisees for being more concerned with their outwardly cleanliness than  what was on the inside. “I’m so glad I’m not like others, I don’t get drunk, have sex or steal things.” Riiiight. You might not, but you got sin…pride…, internal sins.  Let’s all stop pretending like we have it all together,and are perfect  little Christians.

Wake up. Break the cycle of addiction, the endless quest for satisfaction in earthly things. It might not be as easy as deleting an app, but it’s worth it.

Take a listen to  Awake my Soul by Mumford and Sons.