Wednesday, March 7, 2012

trading one for another

I'm exploring the physical benefits from going on a mostly vegan diet throughout the week. I say 'mostly' because, i still eat cheese or a cookie etc, a couple times a week. Sometimes intentionally, sometimes just because I'm ignorant of what foods have non vegan items in it.

The reason Jeremy and I started to do this diet is because we watched a documentary 'Fork over Knife' that tells of the benefits of changing your diet to wholefoods and plant-based consumption. One phrase they said over and over again, was 'eat to live, not live to eat'. I realize this concept is not ground breaking, but through starting the diet and remembering that phrase when I want* to eat a plate of cheesyness, I see that the main reasons I choose to eat unhealthy (and therefore unbalanced overall) is because I am pleasure-seeking. Let me reiterate. I eat not just to feed my needs, but I eat to seek pleasure.

I have seen how the idea of pleasure-seeking and idolatry are often tied together. While on this diet, I have tried to eat healthy and make fun shakes. But, I still can enjoy red wine (which i LOVE!). So, now red wine has become an even greater desire to consume than before. It's funny, because the challenging thought is not, 'how long can you withhold meat and cheese, and processed foods?', the question that i struggle with is, 'What do i want more than God to fulfill me?'.

for the past week, i have heard all sorts of conversations about one vice being better than another. Someone at work says, 'why don't chocoholics get grief like the people with gambling problems', or, i was watching all these young people at the T/F film fest inhale cigarettes, knowing full well they are blatantly bad for you, even though these are some of the most creative and brightest thinkers and probably vegan (haha). They live a life devoted to evolving their minds, and yet hinder their bodies! I think this leads me to believe that many people, they are ok with one vice over another. they can replace one habit, with another bad habit that is just as harmful, but less shameful/taboo in their own eyes.

Since when was being a lush or a glut something to be proud of? But, for some reason, we are less likely to hold each other accountable in this sin than if someone was sleeping around, being unfaithful? And, more importantly, hold ourselves accountable for those thoughts and actions.  My friend Matt, an art professor and philosophical thinker ;) , was telling me about how the entire concept of John Piper's book 'Pleasures of God' was that we were made for pleasure. But, you know, we often replace our deep rooted desires for lesser things. All desires and pleasure can be met in God. I'm not voting for asceticism. False religion, right ?(col 2:23) I think God gave us amazing things like chocolate and red wine , and sex and beautiful art. But, these are mediums for us to experience God in, and thank Him for...

so, what am I saying here? before I pick up a glass of red wine, or flip on the tube to escape stress, I would like to face reality, head on. The fact is, I do need comfort, peace, and sanity. However, how i get those must be focused on a lasting and restorative fulfillment in God.

my philosophy is this; a drowning person, striving to reach the surface, will be content with smoke-filled air. They may not realize they are slowly killing themselves through suffocation. But, if you give them fresh air, they can fully recover.

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