Sunday, February 14, 2010

Pancakes, Oysters and Man vs. Food

Gluttony is a word that you don't hear much about these days. I can remember my mom using that word as I grew up fairly often. It seemed like whenever I just wanted a little more, or maybe a lot more, of something that she would admonish me not to "be a glutton".

Recently, my ten year old son and my husband watched a program on the Travel Channel call "Man Verses Food". This is a program where the host tries to eat an enormous amount of food just to see if he can break a record. I forget how many POUNDS of pancakes he tried to conquer and how many dozens of oysters but they were profane amounts, amounts that no person should ever try to eat, if not for health reasons, then just because it seems like a huge waste of food in a time when so many people are starving.


So, my son and I were driving down the road yesterday and he tells me he wants to enter a food eating contest just to see if he can win. His little face lit up and he was all excited, "you know I could do it, Mom; I can eat a ton of pancakes"! My reply was a staid, calm, "well, you probably could, but I don't think the Lord would approve of your being a glutton". "What's a glutton, Mom?" he asked.

I then try to explain to a child who lives in a time when it seems like we never say "Enough" (I've had enough, I've got enough, I've done enough, etc.) how much is too much. When have we eaten so much food that God looks at us like a glutton? This has been eating at me ever since he and I had that conversation, and now I've taken it to God. (Hey, this is a woman who can eat a whole bag of M&M's, or red licorice, or a dozen chocolate chip cookies or 1/2 dozen of my sister and my home made doughnuts!)

I believe the spirit is telling me that anytime we eat without thought of what we are eating or how much we are eating, we are being a glutton.

Proverbs 23:21 has this to say about being a glutton.

Glutton comes from the Hebrew/Greek word zalal which means to "flow down" or "riotous eater".

Doesn't riotous eater sound like someone who would eat "pounds" of pancakes or "dozens" of oysters (ewww, that makes me shudder just thinking about it)?

I did try to explain to my son that God created us all with a measuring device inside of us, one to tell us when we're full, when we're past tired to exhaustion, when we're too sick to function, when we're doing something that doesn't please Him and we need to listen to our bodies and that voice inside telling us "Stop". "Enough". I told him that we should never just keep cramming food in because we want to beat a record or because we want to make a name for ourselves in the Eating Hall of Fame. There are consequences to unwise living and over-eating, and I mean over-eating to the point where you hear the word glutton running through your mind! That will get your name in a book somewhere, and I think it's title is "Gluttons, Lazybones and Others Who Failed to Achieve God's Purpose in Life".

As Bill O'Reilly would say, "...don't be a glutton" today!

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