“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God (II Corinthians 1:3,4).”
The other morning I went to put on some clean pants and noticed a problem. They wouldn’t fasten.
I figured that maybe they had shrunk in the wash. Surely I could not have put on weight.
I reviewed my diet of the last couple of weeks and came up with a sad conclusion. I had eaten my way into a bigger belly.
The main culprit I believe is the food sitting around the office. My colleagues tend to leave their goodies in our small kitchenette for the taking.
With my sweet tooth, this is dangerous. However, the taste for a delectable treat isn’t the main reason I think I eat that stuff.
The reality is I need comfort food. In our fast-paced, stress filled environment at the office, there is little time to eat.
In the pressure of the day, when I look over at the kitchen counter, 10 feet from my desk, I can’t resist the solace that sweet thing gives me. So I gobble it down.
Add these regular slurps of dessert at work to our weekend ice cream at home, and the occasional grocery store doughnut, and you have a fatty waiting to happen. Coming to this realization at the end of this week didn’t keep my from crunching on the leftover cupcake in my classroom, or the half eaten cherry pie in the kitchenette, however.
I surmise that there is only one solution to my problem: I’ve gotta find my comfort in something else besides food.
I am a comfort freak. Always have been. My idea of camping is the Holiday Inn.
Unfortunately, the symathy I gain from comfort food is counterfeit. It doesn’t last, and it is actually harmful.
It’s kind of like trying to get joy from a Badfinger song when you actually need the Beatles. If you don’t remember Badfinger, they were a 70s group that many considered the heirs of the sound of the great John, Paul, George and Ringo. Does anybody remember Pete, Tom, Ron and Joey?
As one review blogger puts it, “Badfinger were one the best Beatles ripoffs to harmonize in the early ’70s; though naturally the imitation pales in comparison to the original (http://starling.rinet.ru/music/temp/badfinger.html)”. This blogger is spot on.
Badfinger is appealing. But I knew the Beatles (at least in my ear), and Badfinger, you’re no Beatles.
The reason Badfinger never reached their potential is because the boys put their trust in a bad man. Their American manager apparently ran off with their riches.
The result was financial ruin and two suicides among the band members. The group folded.
We oughtn’t put our trust in food, or people, for comfort. Badfinger sang a hit song in which they portrayed a boy trying to get a girl to find her solace in him:
“No matter what you are
I will always be with you
Doesn’t matter what you do girl, oh girl with you
No matter what you do
I will always be around
Won’t you tell me what you found girl, oh girl won’t you
Knock down the old brick wall, and be a part of it all
Nothing to say, nothing to see, nothing to do
If you would give me all, as I would give it to you
Nothing would be, nothing would be, nothing would be
No matter where you go
There will always be a place
Can’t you see in my face girl, oh girl don’t you.”
Obviously, if this girl was real, she was in for a big disappointment. Her suitor was undependable as a bad tooth.
He didn’t hang around when things got tough. Offering comfort to her, he bailed and committed suicide.
I know deep in my heart that there is only one place I can find the consolation I seek in comfort food at my office, or in the grocery shelf. Only Jesus Christ can provide the feeling of relief and encouragement I am looking for.
John the Baptist sought comfort from Jesus and got it. He had hoped against hope that Jesus was the promised Messiah.
But John found himself in jail and his life was in danger. Indeed, he would soon be beheaded.
John had his doubts. So he sent his followers to ask Jesus if He were IT or not. Here is what Jesus said in reply to John’s query:
“Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor (Matthew 11:4-5).”
Jesus was, and is, the real deal. He was, and is, the embodiment of the comfort only God can offer (Matthew 11:27-30).
The next time the pressure is on and I run for the truffle at work, I need to remember that the temporary, phoney strength it will provide pales in comparison to that offered by God through Jesus Christ.
The next time my colleagues leave a goodie around, I should adopt the philosophy of Jesus, who said when offered some chow by his disciples,”My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work (John 4:34).”
I think this self control will benefit not only my waistline, but also put me on the right path to a lifestyle helpful to others as well.