I love chocolate and sugar. At times, I believe I love chocolate and sugar more than God. I know you’ll think it’s too strong when I say that I worship sugar, but at times, it’s really the truth. As I talked with a friend whose thoughts were consumed with getting her next “fix” (which was another food of choice), I felt convicted. I’m just like her, except that my “fix” is more acceptable in society. But I’m still thinking of how to get something sweet, and heaven forbid, if Larry finds my stash.
I remember when I was…maybe…ten years old. To hold my allowance, I had a little metal safe with a real combination lock, which required a battery. One day I opened the safe and saw a dark, thick substance oozing down the back of the wall. It looked just like chocolate. The thought was marvelous. Why would I ever think chocolate was located in the back of my safe? I have no clue. It only reveals my passion and obsession to find anything chocolate.
I reached in and swiped my finger over the dark, thick substance and put it in my mouth. ACK! It wasn’t chocolate at all. It was battery acid oozing from the battery. It was horrible tasting and fearing I had poisoned myself, I ran to my mother and had to tell her my folly. How embarrassing. But that memory stands out to remind me of how early my obsession dug it’s fingers into me.
So yesterday as I thought of my friend’s obsession, I asked the Lord if there was anything separating me from Him. “Sugar!” came the answer. “But Lord, I just bought several wonderful treats that I’ve been craving. You can’t mean…”
I sensed God calling me to a fast from sugar for a month in order to concentrate on Him with the effort and time that I usually think about sugar and chocolate. “But Lord, those tasty things I just bought. I’ll just have that fabulous chocolate muffin and a cup of tea for one last hurrah while I read my Bible.” And I fixed my little snack and savored it as I read. But there were still the chocolate covered pretzels I’d bought. “Hm, maybe I’ll start the fast tomorrow. I can make sure I’ve eaten everything by tomorrow.”
As I read along in Matthew, I came across the verse where Jesus called Peter and Andrew, and “Immediately they left their nets and followed Him” (4:20). Then Jesus called James and John, and “Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him” (4:22). ACK! No fair!
How dare the Lord highlight that word “immediately” in my Bible! Why couldn’t they have just finished their duties and followed Him the next day? That’s reasonable!
But I knew the Lord was speaking to me and I made a commitment to start immediately. Thankfully, I had already finished eating that luscious chocolate muffin with little chunks of dark chocolate on top.
The rest of the day as I pondered this latest assignment from the Lord, when I felt my thoughts go to those chocolate covered pretzels, I thought, “Lord, I love you more. I want to think on You and get fed and nourished by You. Be that happiness for me that I find in sugar. Use my thoughts of sugar to draw my attention to you more. Satisfy me with thoughts of your goodness and your sweetness.”
I realized I’m just not fasting from sugar for the sake of self-discipline or to even re-orient my priorities to stop worshiping sugar. I’m delighting in loving God more than satisfying my taste buds. I want my spiritual taste buds to crave Him.