Deep within the bowels of the hospital, I could hear it calling my name. It beckoned to me, whispered to me, tormented my thoughts…...... Busy with patients, I’d made the mistake of hurrying over the copy machine. There it found me. My co-worker was eating a frozen microwave pizza. The aroma was delicious, enticing, and I was pretty sure she wasn’t going to share. “Oh I want a little pizza” I said wishfully, as I made the quick copy. When I returned to my post, nothing but pizza haunted my thoughts. To make matters worse, it (the pizza) reminded me that there were other little pizzas at the vending machine in the basement cafeteria. It’s kind of like that movie “Gremlins” where one gets wet and they multiply. Whatever you do, don’t feed me after midnight, because my hips and belly turn monstrously large! Once one little pizza gets out, it’s only a matter of time before they take over the hospital and then….. the world.
I was resisting, but a little annoyance and stress set me off and I found myself telling somebody I was heading to the basement. I had to go down there anyway, and after all, it was on my way. Armed with my purse, a two way radio and some other stuff, I made my way into the depths of its bowels. It was creepy, but I tried to be brave. After my errands, I was compelled toward the cafeteria, by an unknown force. I kept thinking about how good that pizza upstairs smelled. As I neared the vending machine, I felt remorseful. I knew I’d already eaten my dinner. The word “recreational eating” flashed in my mind. I pushed the thought out, and dug into my purse finding a $5 bill. As I got closer to the vending machine, I felt more remorse. I knew I would hate myself for it later. Part of me said “I don’t care”. The other part said “yes you do.” Suddenly I knew what I had to do. I put the $5 bill in my purse and I walked away from the machine. Suddenly, I felt really really good. I’d walked away, and not let that lust rule over me anymore.
It’s kind of amusing, my dark battle with food, but it got me to thinking. The pull for something we want is real. No pizzas don’t talk or multiply like Gremlins, but “the lust of the flesh” is real in all of us. Pretty much everyone I know is directly affected by someone with an alcohol, food or drug addiction. Unfaithfulness runs rampantly, as do other deviant vices. Everybody has some crutch, and if you think you don’t then you’re probably lying to yourself. The Apostle Paul said “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?” And I am often grieved, wondering if some addicts I know will ever make that decision to “step away”. I know, without a shadow of a doubt that the strength to overcome can be found in God. How to always convey that to people, well I don’t know.
The Entire Chapter of Romans 7 talks about how we are slaves to our sin and lusts. The Entire Chapter of Romans 8 tells us how we can be free.
It ends with this comfort :
37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.