Given to Appetite (Oh Happy Holidays)

“When you sit to dine with a ruler, note well what is before
you, and put a knife to your throat if you are given
to gluttony. Do not crave his delicacies, for that food is
deceptive.” Proverbs 23:1-3

We’re on the brink of the overindulgence holidays.
We’re polishing off the last of the Halloween candy;
now we’re recovering from Thanksgiving. And then
there’s Christmas and Hanukkah, followed by the reinvention
promise of New Year’s. Who is groaning out
there already? It’s insane.

Yes, we’re entering the valley of the shadow of the
appetite holidays; if there’s anything to overdo, we
will find it, won’t we? Feasts, eggnog, holiday candy,
flowing alcohol and overspending are just a few tasty
options, which, one way or another, usually leave us
filled with regret later on, as we deal with some form of
hangover.

Yep, happy holidays, pass the Ibuprofen, Alka-Seltzer
and a pillow to scream into! The joy of the season, huh?
Admit it, these holidays have a way of tapping into our
appetites, cleverly masked as celebrating and family
togetherness. Those of you out there who are entertaining
fantasies of shoving the holiday turkey, stuffing
included, over a relative’s head in the hopes of getting
them to shut up know what I’m talking about. Those
of us entertaining such fantasies opt out, not because
of nobility and loving Godly natures; it’s more about
wasting good food.

So, we concentrate on drowning our sorrows in our
appetites of choice. Bring on the carbs, the booze and
the credit cards; let’s get through this somehow!
We believe the lie of the satisfied appetite.

Being this long in the game with my own issues, I’m
learning that, when it comes to our tricky carnal natures,
there’s no such thing. When it comes to matter
of the appetite, the name of the game is more, more,
more! And then some more piled on top of that! There!
That’ll fix everything! That’ll make everything all better!
So, we consume whatever, however and in whatever
amounts we desire. But it’s all deceptive; the appetite
we struggle with seems to act as a spiritual barometer.
It registers as our chosen God substitute. And, because
it is only a substitute, a counterfeit attempt, at best,
it never fulfills us. So, what’s the answer we choose
if we’re not careful? Gimme more! More booze, pills,
mashed potatoes, candy, shopping!

We’re never fulfilled, but our souls (our minds, wills and
emotions) are still starving!

“Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them.” Psalms
107:5

You know that aftermath feeling from a family get
together or a holiday party? You know that feeling of
trying to summon up the will and courage to clean the
trashed house, medicating that industrial size headache
(and stomach ache) and squinting at the credit
card bills? Well, imagine that’s the reality of your souls
when substitute after substitute still seem to fail to
create peace, comfort and relief. And why is it like this?
Because, for all of our planning, shopping, feasting,
drinking, attempting to be merry, numb or obliterated,
we fail to keep the main thing the main thing: our
fulfillment is connected to God. Period.

“When you sit to dine with a ruler, note well what is before
you, and put a knife to your throat if you are given
to gluttony. Do not crave his delicacies, for that food is
deceptive.” Proverbs 23:1-3

Proverbs 23:1-3, indeed, may sound extreme and grizzly
when we deal with our appetites. It’s by no means,
an endorsement to slit our throats. More accurately, it
follows the modern day advice you may have heard
around the way: “check yourself before you wreck
yourself.”

Whatever appetites we are challenged by, this holiday
season and beyond, let’s get real with God about
them- and go to God with them! He has promised to
satisfy and fill us.

“For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry
soul with goodness.” Psalms 107:9

We have tried everything else. There is, after all, no
hangover with Him.