Monday, July 12, 2010

Comfort Food

My name is Angela, and I'm a chocoholic.

I freely admit my guilt.

I tend to be an emotional eater. When times of great stress arise, yep, you guessed it, I automatically reach for my favorite comfort food -- any sweet, scrumptious, calorie-laden incarnation of chocolate.

The brown food acts almost like a sedative. With it I'm able to weather the storm and keep it moving.

But at what price?

The euphoria is temporary, but the negative side effect, an expanding waist line, hunkers down for the long haul. 

Surely there's got to be a better way. 

Don't you sit there acting like you don't know what I'm talking about. I'm not the only one who uses chocolate as a stress reliever. I've corresponded with a number of you. I know your weaknesses.  ;-)

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could all learn to look to a real stress reliever instead of a counterfeit one? One that's usually as close as arm's reach? One that doesn't leave a negative side effect but only positive long-lasting benefits?

Wouldn't it be great if we could program our minds and spirits to the habit of picking up our Bible when stress hits instead of a chocolate bar or chocolate ice cream or chocolate ... you get the picture. 

Trying to feed our physical hunger when it's our spiritual hunger that's really the problem is an exercise in futility. Eat, eat, eat all you want, but that inner hunger pang is going to nag and poke and prod until it's satisfied, and there's only one way to do that -- to feed it with the Word of God.

So I'm issuing you a challenge today. Start paying attention. The next time that stress hits and you feel overwhelmed and anxious take a moment and get still, reach for your Bible, offer a quick prayer that the Holy Spirit will lead you to a passage of scripture to meet your need, and then read.

Rinse and repeat.

See if you don't start seeing a difference in the way that you handle stress. If what you've been doing thus far hasn't been working, now is the time to try something different -- something that will actually work.

I'm making a vow to rise to meet the challenge starting today. My chocolate stash is going on lockdown -- oh, help me, Lord -- and I'm issuing a self-imposed ban against my regular suppliers. Let's call this our chocolate fast. 

Give it a try for a week and then come back here and give us your praise report. I can't wait to read how it worked out for you.

"This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me."  Psalm 119:50