Girlfriend, Don't Eat the Cake!
For a couple of years now I have been on this health kick. We have been taught over and over again that we must watch what we eat. The bad stuff may taste ever so sweet when you’re savoring it on your tongue but when you are carrying that weight around afterwards it just doesn’t seem worth it, does it?
Well, on Saturday my sister and I went shopping at the health foods store. I had a simple list: bread, chocolate milk, honey, chicken, and pineapple. Yes, chocolate milk. A girl has to have her daily intake of calcium and flavanoids. I’m sure I read that somewhere. So we perused through the store admiring the organic, non-harmful nail polish and body lotion all the while gathering my groceries. I even brought my reusable grocery totes to enhance the experience. There were goodies everywhere and the word "organic" seemed to make the calories disappear but I knew better. We were almost done browsing and shopping when we got to the bakery department and I turned around and noticed my sister was missing. Knowing someone wouldn't mistake her for a dessert, I looked all over to find her.
I went back to the cracker aisle, down the freezer section, looked again in the dairy department and finally got back to the baked goods. Then a really big guy moved on with his cart, cleared the view, and there she was, all 4 foot 11 inches of her. She was staring intently into the case that held the cakes and pies.
"What is she doing?" I thought. “I am trying to change my lifestyle and she is looking at calories, and lots of them! I have avoided temptation for the last hour and she is caving in?” So, I took a deep breath and started making my way towards her. She was going to get a piece of my mind if she was thinking about buying a piece of that cake! I wasn't going to stand for this. I even thought of lots of clever and witty things to say while en route to that dessert case. A bit of anger began to swell up inside of me and I was going to let her know it.
I got to the case, stopped my cart, looked her in the eye, opened my mouth, and said it....
"How much is it?"
It was Chocolate Eruption Cake, folks! And it was labeled organic so it must have some nutritional value, right? Two pieces and one full glass of chocolate milk later I can tell you that the word organic means nothing when they are placed in front of ingredients like butter, whipping cream, and sugar. It turns out that cake has more calories than a boxed non-organic cake. Oh the deception!
Weeks later as I strolled on into to a local book store to have coffee with some friends this cake came back to haunt me.
We sat down and began laughing and discussing the latest stories of our life. I got so caught up in hanging out and having fun with my girls that I never even saw it coming.
“While we are on that subject we need to pray for Kara’s marriage.”
Immediately I became concerned and curious. Then I said it, “Well what should we specifically pray for?”
The door was opened and I invited that gossip in. The tongue was loosed and assumptions were made. Everyone was completely tuned in to get the latest dish on what this seemingly perfect family in our church was going through. I had sworn that I would never get sucked into that again and that any friend of mine who dared speak that way in front of me would get a piece of my mind but the word “prayer” made it all seem fine. We had been spoon fed gossip and every juicy bite was savored.
Proverbs 18:8 – “The words of gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man’s inmost parts.” (NIV)
On the way home I thought about that organic cake. I thought about how sick it made me and how many extra minutes I had to spend on the treadmill to get rid of it. This gossip made me sick too and the weight of that conversation haunted me. I knew I'd have to spend some time on my knees in repentance. Just because something is given a fancy and “good” label doesn’t mean that it is beneficial to us. We have to be prepared at all times and consistently walk in the spirit so that we can recognize the tactics of the enemy. The Holy Spirit and I now have an inside joke. When I am about to encounter a similar situation I hear him whisper to my heart, “don’t eat the cake!” It works!
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