This is a remix of “Laundry Ruminations: Control or Out of Control?” (Summer 2008).
One day as I was doing laundry, I started thinking about cake, frosting, cookies, chocolate and other delicious gooey things.
Then I thought about the passage I’d read in the book of Romans about a month before. In it, Paul said we should give our bodies to God as a living sacrifice. To me this meant (among other things) I should let God control what I eat. This lined up with what I’d felt God saying to me for awhile. Thing is, I hadn’t been sure I wanted to give Him control, because He wouldn’t want me to eat cake with two inches of frosting. (Maybe occasionally, but not 2-3 times a day as I’d prefer.) This irritated me. Why shouldn’t I dang well eat whatever I want? Why doesn’t God want me to have any fun?!
So I’d rebelled. I didn’t quit going to church or anything; I just started eating like a pig. I couldn’t bear the thought of God saying I couldn’t have a Sonic Fried Ice Cream shake, so I shut off my filter and ate as I pleased. I wanted control of what I put in my mouth.
One day someone brought brownie bites to class. When I saw them I said, “Aw, who did that? Oh well, I have no choice …” A classmate said, “Yes you do have a choice!” I quickly popped one into the mouth. “Oops, too late!” I joked. But it was true: in the face of brownies, I didn’t feel like I had a choice. After class I took two more on the way out.
So that day as I did laundry, indignant with my Father over cake, I had a ridiculously obvious revelation: I didn’t have control. I’d been so determined to have it, but I’d given it up to brownie bites and things of that ilk. BROWNIE BITES. How was I in control if, whenever I saw cake, I had to eat it? If I was so much in control, then what happened to my ability to choose, to say no?
Then God asked me why I was I fighting Him so hard over garbage? It looks and even tastes good, but it’s not good. Seriously, whose health has ever been vastly improved by cake? Has anyone lost weight on the Cake and Frosting Diet? Whose cholesterol level has dropped thanks to sugar? I’d fallen for old lies: my way was better than His, and He wanted to ruin my fun. The result was an old deception: I was out of control because I’d willingly given it away.
Junk food is a huge temptation, putting a wall between me and God. So I can tell myself I’m in control when I’m not, or I can let God handle it. When I crave junk, it helps to remember that it’s garbage. (“Filth” as Dr. Rubin calls it.) My Father wants what’s best for me. It’s stupid to put garbage ahead of life.
And that lesson applies to much more than junk food.