The Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie
Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit . . . Ephesians 5:18
I’ve got a wedding this weekend and I rarely dress up, so yesterday, I thought I’d check to see how my dress pants fit. I’ve put on a couple of pounds over the holidays and as I tried on pants, I realized that my options were limited. I need to lose those holiday pounds. We also had to run into the city yesterday to drop my son off to fly back to college. While there, I bought some sugary snacks – for everyone else. On the way home though, I noticed that the chocolate peanut butter brownie hadn’t been eaten. It called to me. There’s nothing wrong with indulging occasionally. You worked out today. You deserve this.
At the time though, I was meditating on today’s passage, and I quickly saw that it’s thinking just like that which has made my pants too tight. I also realized that in the passage, Paul provided some insight into how to abandon my self-destructive habits. Putting his instruction into practice, I realized that eating healthy is my responsibility. Paul gave this as a command, which means it’s up to me. Maybe I didn’t choose to have the unhealthy appetite for the brownie, but still, it’s my responsibility to do whatever it takes to do what’s good and right.
So, I didn’t eat the brownie, but there was still a void there. I was still hungry. I wanted the brownie for a reason. I had an emptiness that I desired to fill, and I knew the brownie would provide some immediate gratification. Not eating the brownie left that void empty.
We all seek something to fill the void. We all have a hunger that we seek to satiate. This isn’t just about sugary snacks. We’ve learned to treat our emptiness with social media, TV, drugs, alcohol, pornography, sex, status, money, or power. Not all those things are bad in themselves, but they cannot properly satisfy the void because God created us with a hole that can only be satisfied in him. Still, we try to find our joy, meaning, and purpose in immediate pleasure because it’s quicker, even though it leads to emptiness later.
So, last night, I said no to the brownie. Instead, I prayed. I spent time with God. I filled myself with him and I waited until I got home to eat something healthy. This morning, I don’t have brownie regret. Instead, I have joy and peace that I made the right decision and satisfied myself not with empty calories, but with my relationship with God. Now, I must do that every day.