Saturday, September 3, 2011
Made To Crave
Did you read the article this week?
Scientists have estimated that by the year 2030 (that's less than twenty years from now), half of the population of the United States will be obese.
We know what obesity will do to health and life expectancies. But have we ever considered the effects that fifty percent obesity rates will have on our national security? What kind of a fighting force will this country be able to muster when more than half of the population would not make the cut for military service, police academies, and fire academies?
Our nation's health has really worried me in recent years. Not only have we collectively gorged on every kind of junk food out there, but we've been gorging on other things, too. We've spent ourselves into debt because we had to have it, whatever the "it" of the moment was. If we want it, then we should be allowed to have it. Me, me, me.
I hate to point it out, but every society that opens its doors to let all things be permissible has gone the way of the Roman Empire.
I've had this theory rumbling around in my head for a while now that we are a nation that is starving. We are starving for God. We are starving for God, but we refuse to acknowledge it, so instead we fill up our empty places with food, drugs, alcohol, toys, pornography, entertainment. The list goes on and on.
Anyone who has visited Europe recently can attest to this sad fact. Countries filled with some of the most amazing churches and cathedrals that are virtually empty on Sunday morning. And the most frightening part? It happened in one generation.
I read a quote from John Wesley recently that has shaken me to the core. Here it is:
"What one generation tolerates, the next generation embraces."
I can think of so many things that this applies to, beginning with the children of Israel and going all the way into 2011.
This week, I read this fantastic book called "Made To Crave" by Lysa Teukeurst. Lysa points out that we are a people craving God. Like a child, we need discipline in our lives from our heavenly Father. This discipline is necessary whenever and wherever we have put something of greater importance in our lives than God. Is it food? Is it stuff? It doesn't really matter.
Lysa points out Paul's words when he says "Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial."
Let's face it. We can eat fast food 24 hours a day. We can make unhealthy choices at every turn. And while no one is stopping us, that doesn't mean that we shouldn't stop ourselves. We can sit in front of televisions and computer screens instead of walking our neighborhoods or biking on the trail. We can do it. But should we? Do we?
When I was a child, we rarely ate out at restaurants. We were a family of nine, and eating out at restaurants was just not cost effective. We didn't take many vacations, either. But you know what? Mom always fed us, Dad made sure we got out once in a while and had some fun. We were not deprived.
Look at how that has changed in one generation! My son told me that he participated in a poll in health class one day. The teacher asked students how often they ate out. More than half the class said every day. Most said two or three times a week. My son was the only one who said "Maybe once a month." We have given the power of our kitchens over to nameless, faceless restaurant chains who don't care about our health. Too often, we want to sit back and be fed and entertained.
If you are struggling with your weight (and let's face it, who isn't?), please understand that I am not condemning you. I have struggled, too. But God does not want us to live a half-life filled with struggle. He wants us to give our struggles over to Him. Jesus said "I have come that you may have life, and have it to the full."
I am encouraging all of you to read this book. It will open your eyes to the power and benefits of a disciplined life that is lived to the full.
(p.s.Don't forget to enter the blog candy giveaway on Friday's post!)