06 Nov My Crazy Addiction
So when you tell people you’re addicted to food, they look at you like your basically bonkers. Responses I have actually heard:
“Yeah, and I’m addicted to breathing.”
“How can you be addicted to something you need to survive?”
“I think all living creatures have that addiction.”
Which reveals a lot about our society and its general posture towards food. We are consumers, more often than not, mindless consumers. Especially when it comes to food. But food addiction is very real, I’m not going to go into the science but you can read about symptoms of food addiction here. When I discovered my crazy addiction, I started a bumpy journey (with lots of switchbacks and start-overs) to reclaim food in a way that honors this one life I’ve been given, the ones I live it with, and the One who gave it to me. As 1 Cor 10:31 says, “Whatever you do, whether you eat or drink, do it to the glory of God.”
“As often as you do this…”
Tim Chester says, “If you take the mountainsides and meals out of the Bible, it’s a very short book.” Meals and the act of eating are clearly significant if they fill the Scriptures to such a degree. If you read through the gospels, truly “The Son of Man came eating and drinking…” (Matt 11:9).
Jesus used meals almost like bookmarks to punctuate miraculous moments throughout His ministry. He met people right where they were, over food: from the intimate meals with tax collectors and prostitutes to the monumental Feeding of the 5000 and the Last Supper, He beckoned people to meet him at the table, not the temple.
And when He created a new covenant with His followers, He used a meal to illustrate, “This is my body broken for you…Do this in remembrance of me.” Matt Reynolds suggests that, in these words, Jesus meant, “As often as you do this, every time you sit and eat a meal, I’m in that moment. See me in the midst of the table and remember me!”
Food has been woven into our daily lives to point us to our ultimate Sustainer. This simple truth has major implications for a food addict. In my world of drive-thrus, convenience eats, 5-hour energy shots, and trenta mocha fraps, my approach to food and my approach to Christ became frighteningly similar. My priorities were: convenience, quantity, ease of access, and minimal commitment rather than true nourishment, quality, sustainability, and responsibility. Jesus beckons us, “Take time to share a meal with me! Don’t just roll into church on Sunday for your 5-hour energy shot of grace that leaves you crashing and discouraged on Monday morning.”
My practices surrounding food act as a thermometer for, not just my physical health, but my spiritual health as well. When I cut corners, buy shoddy ingredients, and eat out simply because I’m too lazy to be in the kitchen, I find my heart has a similar posture towards my Sustainer. I take Him for granted. I check the boxes without exerting any real effort. I turn a blind eye to those who may need me simply because I’m lazy. This is when my crazy addiction runs rampant.
Mindful consumption, I have discovered, is a spiritual practice. Dare I say a holy practice, as important to my well-being as prayer and scripture and teachings. This is my motivation behind my meal plans, my pantry, and my shopping list (which I will write about in another post soon) and it’s lasted much longer than my motivation to fit in a pair of jeans or look good on a beach somewhere. It quiets my addiction and points my eyes to my one Sustainer who beckons me, beckons us, “Come to the table, there’s plenty of room. Let’s not rush this.”
I am not a nutritionist, dietitian, or health professional. This post is purely commentary based on my personal experience. I encourage my readers to seek professional help for any health issues, physical or mental.