One day last week I was having a bad time. I woke up just thinking "Today is not going to be good." The days preceding it had not been stellar regarding my food choices, the stress level was high and to be perfectly honest--I just wasn't feeling it. So this is what happened in my mind...
I thought about my first meal of the day. Breakfast. The only healthy option I had in my house was a cereal that I didn't like. I had no fruit. I only had 2% milk. (Ughh). So I ate. As soon as the first bite of cereal was taken, I began to think about lunch. I knew that I would be very hungry when lunch rolled around. After all, I hadn't had my banana. I though about how I had already had 2% milk instead of skim. That was not good. (Boo-hoo) I remembered that many times in the past when I let myself get overly hungry, like I was sure to be on this day, I would just go crazy. I pictured myself at lunch just going crazy with lots of unhealthy food. I pictured myself driving through Sonic since I would be SO hungry and not even want to take the time to prepare food. I decided (while I was eating breakfast, mind you) that I should just go ahead and have cheese sticks when they asked me if I wanted to add some at the end of my order (what's that about?!) since I rarely go off track like this and I should take advantage of the feeding frenzy.
So there. It was settled. I finished up my breakfast, put the bowl in the sink and I felt horrible. I was so down on myself. My decisions were really getting to me. I looked up at the basket of Easter candy. What could it hurt, I thought? The rest of the day is shot, bring on the chocolate. (Crud!) I sat back down, this time with a little chocolate egg and began to unwrap it as I hung my head in shame.
Then--a brief moment of clarity. I remembered! I remembered that the only things that had really happened so far on that day is that I #1 Got out of bed alive (yay!), #2 Got my kids out of bed, alive (double yay!) and #3 I ate a bowl of cereal that wasn't my favorite, and had 50 extra calories of milk (so what!?)
All of the other stuff had only happened in my HEAD. In reality, I hadn't even messed up yet! But in my head... I had already thrown myself under the bus and had set myself down a very unfortunate path for the entire day and possibly even longer than that. The mind can be a very dangerous place when we allow it to be a breeding ground for negative thoughts. Or even worse--when we don't use it at all.
This is why it is so important to be MINDFUL when we eat. We should write it down. We should think about why we are eating it. We should slow down. We should thank God for it. If I can't in good conscience thank God for my food...Dear Lord, thank you for providing this nutritious Butterfinger chocolate egg to accompany my breakfast today. May it bring me energy to do your work...Hmm. Something is off. I am not suggesting that I can't enjoy a piece of candy from time to time, but I shouldn't use it to deal with my poor choices, especially poor choices that are only taking place in my mind, as it were.
How easy it is to let our mind sabotage efforts toward what we really want! It's easy because we put up no defense. Our defenses are weak or they are down completely. On some level, I think I want to be defeated sometimes. It seems like it will be easier. And maybe for a moment it is. Maybe for a second it will taste good.
Must've been what Eve thought...And look where that got us.
May TRUTH permeate our minds today!
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:4-9