The whole Israelite community grumbled against Moses and Aaron.
The Israelites said to them,
“Would that we had died at the LORD’s hand in the land of Egypt,
as we sat by our fleshpots and ate our fill of bread!
But you had to lead us into this desert
to make the whole community die of famine!” -Exodus 16:3
Yeah, yah jerk!
What a whiney group of cranky pants, right? Are you pleased to know you've never sounded anything like the Israelites before? No siree, we are scot-clear of that accusation...
The deacon at the parish we visited this weekend was exactly the voice God needed me to hear. I've written about my journey with shaming myself about eating, which leads to binging (gluttony). Our country is addicted to this process and the process of deciding, "You know what, health experts, I do not care because I want to eat this right now."
I think so gar-dang much about eating, it's ridiculous. Not a road trip goes by without at least one packed snack. I constantly think about what I'm going to eat later so I can know how much I can indulge NOW. It's a daily example of worry and not relying on God. It's also a weakness of avoiding suffering, even on the tiniest scale. It also leads to a lot of overeating, which abuses God's gifts.
The deacon's homily began with a story of a busy day that ended with a fancy ice cream cone salve for the stress. He realized, as he was licking the marshmallow mocha madness, how often he associates food with coping and avoiding the challenging parts of life. It has become acceptable to self-medicate this way. And then when the self-medication makes us even sicker and more distracted, we increase the dose.
To an extent, food is both a gift from God and fuel to drive us to the BIG MEAL: The Eucharist. The Eucharist has context because we know God's gift of pleasure through food. We have to ask ourselves, to where are we looking?
I want to desire the Eucharist and let God feed me there. I want to say, "Sir, give us this bread always!" and live for it. He will take care of the medicating details distracting me from Him.