“Food had become like a drug… it’s a good drug choice for a Christian… Every church event provided my drug out in the open with no hesitation…” ~ Lysa TerKeurst
If you’re wondering whether it’s too late to focus in on your One Word For 2011, it’s not. You have a second chance because this week, Chinese people are celebrating the Lunar New Year.
Like all cultures around the world, any decent celebration must involve eating. Lots of it.
As a little girl, I always looked forward to seeing the black lacquered candy dishes brimming with goodies put out during the festivities. Everyone, including the grown-ups, were prodded to pick and savor a treat, to usher in a sweet year of prosperity and good blessings.
It wasn’t until I was older, that I learned the mythological beliefs behind that yummy candy dish. The Chinese candy dish was put out as a bribe to invisible “deities” to report back only good things about the family to the Kitchen “god” (and not the sins that have been committed that year).
A lot of these superstitious and cultural beliefs were laughed off by us American born kids.
It’s fascinating to consider the significance and meaning we give to the foods we eat.
It doesn’t matter how long we’ve been a believer or what are our ethnic cultures. We were all made to crave.
We all want good things in our lives: sweetness, satisfaction and contentment. What do we do when the realities of life leaves our cravings falling short?
When we make that easy reach for food — to satisfy our deepest desires for something good in our lives — that is when we we eat to comfort our souls.
Made To Crave
My friend and fellow writer, Lysa TerKeurst, just released a new book “Made To Crave“, which hit the New York Times’ Best Seller list a couple weeks ago. It touched a need to fill our stressed out and empty places with God, instead of unhealthy eating.
What I liked about Lysa’s book is that she wrote it as a spiritual guide to understand the inner cravings behind unhealthy eating. I’m suspicious of 10 step programs, so I appreciate her Bible study approach, created out of a personal 17 year struggle with weight, to focus on growing closer with God and breaking a food-defeating lifestyle.
As we make our way into the topic of love this month, we navigate the questions of self-worth.
We all want to love and be loved. It’s a craving to find significance, especially if we’re hurting or chasing a dream.
What We Turn To
Legend says the origins of Chinese New Year began with the fight against a mythical beast called the Nian. The Nian would come to devour livestock, crops, and even villagers on New Year’s day. The villagers believed if they put food out on their doorsteps, the Nian would eat the food they prepared and leave them alone.
We all turn to something to ward off what we fear: problems and imperfections in ourselves or others.
The lie is that we can avoid our cravings.
The bigger lie is that God doesn’t care about them.
There is no cookie cutter solution to turning off our cravings and turning on our purpose.
It’d be easier if God just pushed a button in us and… Zilch! Our “Nians” would disappear.
But we were created to crave.
To have our cravings continuously filled puts us on an everyday journey to be vulnerable — with God and each other.
This openness is our new year’s journey of faith.
What has life left you craving?
How is God meeting you in those cravings?
** Made To Crave BOOK GIVEAWAY **
If food is one of the areas you’re wanting to find more of God and less empty efforts, check out Lysa’s book, Made To Crave.
Leave a comment before midnight PST on Friday 2/11/11.
Photo courtesy of Photobucket.