I eat my feelings.
I know am not alone in this. When I’m grouchy or tired or frustrated, it’s easy to grab chocolate or fast food or even wine to balance my attitude. I try not to, but when I rely on only myself, I’m weak. I’m not accountable.
I have started to realize lately just how important food has become to me. How I rely on my taste buds to make up for the lack of validation I feel in other areas of my life. And how pathetic that truly is. But I kind of ignored those signs and went about my semi-healthy eating routine.
Then came the smack in the face…I burned my microwave popcorn.
It’s crazy the things that God uses to get our attention. But this definitely got mine. I did everything right. I read the directions. I only set the microwave for one minute, thirty seconds. I listened for the popping. I even took it out before it stopped popping. But then I opened it. The pieces on top looked fine. But there was a funny smell and the bag looked a little charred on one side. I was embarrassed, because in a public space, the smell of burned popcorn hangs on for a while. People were walking through and making jokes.
But then I realized how, even when I follow the simple directions right, things sometimes don’t turn out. This popcorn was old. It had been sitting a while. I couldn’t just pull it out of the cabinet and toss it in the microwave and expect it to be perfect. I looked into the bag and realized that the butter-oil mixture was all stuck to one side of the bag. I hadn’t mixed it up before cooking it, and that’s what caused it to cook unevenly, to burn, to be ruined.
I follow the simple directions. I try to eat well most of the time. (The microwave popcorn was 94% fat-free and low in points.) I think about exercising, and try to fit it in when I have time and energy. I was trying to do it right. I honestly wanted to make these changes and live a healthier life. But I was taking the easy way out. I wasn’t treating my body as a temple of the Holy Spirit. Again, I have taken the gift I’ve been given and been lazy in my care of it.
Paul tells us, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
He wasn’t really talking about food, but the same message still applies. I am a temple of the Holy Spirit. God created me and wants to be in relationship with me. If I use food to fill the holes that He wants to fill, I’m not honoring Him with my body. If I take the easy way out, my popcorn burns. My body is not nourished or fulfilled. I’m not healthy. Most of me might look okay, but some parts are charred and ruined.
Don’t get me wrong. I know it isn’t going to be easy. I know I’m still going to have the temptations for cheeseburgers and french fries, for burritos, for ice cream. I’ll rely on God to keep me accountable for my food choices, and my exercise choices. And I’ll know that treating my body the way that He wants me to treat all other parts of His creation is just one more way I can honor God.
And anymore, that’s all I’m looking to do. Because I know that vertical relationship is the purpose of my life on Earth. Everything else is just Him blessing me.