Filling My Plate with the Good Stuff (Mar. 3, 2010)

We recently were invited to join two couples at the Grove Park Inn for their famous Sunday brunch after church. They were offering a buy one get one special for their Sunday brunch, so we decided to join. They had two rooms filled to the brim with breakfast options, meats, cheeses, desserts, seafood, soup, and all sorts of deliciousness. It was impossible to taste everything that was offered. Though everything I sampled was very tasty, I left having sampled too much. And once again I learned the lesson that my eyes are bigger than my stomach.

I was thinking about it later, and it reminded me of watching The Biggest Loser on TV. They have those cases full of tempting treats that are not healthful for you, but then they have kitchens full of healthful, natural foods that satisfy. It reminded me of my life. How often do I think “my plate is too full” and “I just can’t add anything else to my life right now,” or “I don’t have time to read my Bible.” Well, maybe I’m filling my life’s plate with the wrong stuff. Even good stuff in excess is bad for me. So I’m taking a step back, just like I would with my eating habits, and looking at my life habits, trying to choose what needs to be on my plate, and what needs to stay on the “pantry shelf” or go in the garbage.

Things like hours of TV because “I deserve a break” need to go in the garbage. And things that have been in the pantry, like reading my Bible every day, need to be on my plate. It’s like trashing the candy bar for the piece of fruit. We can train our tastebuds to enjoy healthful things, and we can train on hearts to crave meaningful things too. I am always more satisfied after finishing reading my Bible than finishing a television show, even if it’s my favorite television show. I think about God often and pray every day for something, but I tend to read my Bible in preparation for small group, Bible study, or Sunday School, instead of as building a relationship with my Savior.

I was reading a devotional from Proverbs 31 Ministries today that talked about scheduling regular retreats with God. I need one of those. So, I’m scheduling Saturday morning as my retreat with God (and Saturday afternoon, I’m scheduling to finish my taxes).

So, each day, I have a buffet of choices before me. It contains things like work, church, school, family, friends, God-and-I time, eating, exercising, TV, music, hobbies, Facebook, shopping, chores, Twitter, gardening, bills, volunteering, and the “menu” goes on. Each day, I will choose what I need to eat instead of what I might want to put on my plate. Sure, sometimes the candy bar is the quick answer, but it won’t last long. I want to put things on my plate that will supply satisfying effects for a lifetime and, ultimately, that will matter for eternity.

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