Every year there are goodies, sweets, treats, and nibbles offered in the Spirit of Christmas. Every year researchers jump on the bandwagon to show (statistically of course) how many of us choose WEIGHT LOSS as our New Year's Resolution.
If we're feasting to the point of gluttony every year and there are those who go without… does something ring a bit flat to you?
If we're feasting to the point of overall harming our bodies in the name of "cheating on the holidays"… do those squares and candy canes and turkey dinners really seem worth it?
CONSPIRACY CHRISTMAS CHALLENGE #03: Fasting Among Feasting
God talks about gluttony. He doesn't think too highly of it. Check it out for yourself if you don't believe me. Even Paul had stern words for the church when the rich would partake first, leaving none for the rest. The outcome wasn't great. Shovelling bird and taters down our throats until our bellies hurt isn't Christmas. In fact it's far, far from…
So here's the challenge: go to prayer.
Go to prayer.
God's going to have some people doing one thing, and others another… go to prayer and await His leading.
1. What if… just what if… He calls us to a 40-Day Fast through Advent, over Christmas and into the New Year? How could we celebrate the coming of Love into our world without food? Can it be done? Yes… it can. Before closing your ears off to this (like I'm trying to do, hoping He doesn't ask this of me), see this as a way of being opened up to the real Christmas. Imagine being so emptied of what we have forced Christmas to become, that we are 100% open to what it really is?
2. You aren't obliged to eat at every function. Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit. Some of us have harried seasons where we are obligated to attend function after function. If your presence is required, be fully present in the moment. No one can shovel food down your throat, however. Don't eat what you don't need. If you're eating to be polite, it's time we changed what polite means. If you're eating because it's there, don't be there.
3. Fast from certain things. Some people cannot live without chocolate. If that's you, knowing there's a real battle going on in this world right at this very moment for the lives of children being exploited for that chocolate, keep that away from your lips this season. Yes, you are only one person but it is the expression of worship to God that is the point here… not you changing the world. If it is spices, knowing that slave labour occurs in the spice trade too, cook and bake without them or use alternatives. You get my meaning…
4. Let them eat cake. Every time you bake something, choose Fair Trade cocoa, sugar, spices, coffee… if you feel the pennies pinching, perhaps you'll start to see how baking isn't always a need at every Christmas table. Yet it's not ALL wrong! Christ created these things for everyone to enjoy! Catch that? Everyone… so when you bake, instead of freezing them for your own family, bake with the intent to give away. Cookies, cakes, pies, squares, casseroles, turkeys, bonbons, chocolates, fudge… you name it… are baked with the name of another in mind.
a. Some of you will be directed to leave these treats on doorsteps for those who cannot cook/bake or otherwise provide these luxuries for themselves or their families
b. Some of you will take your culinary fineries to the streets and hand them out with hot apple cider (I have a great homemade recipe if you want!)
c. Still others of you will be directed to bake, with no idea why or for whom, until the dinger goes off and God says: "Okaaaaay… go!"
But the point is: you don't keep any of it for yourself. The family might grumble a bit, but get them involved! This isn't an exercise in keeping Christmas lousy! This is creating community… biting down on consumerism… trusting the Lord of the Heavenly Hosts that our Christmases will not be controlled by food.
5. Smack the Snack Obsession. After a turkey dinner, we don't need to be opening bags of chips or popping popcorn or anything of the sort. If gluttony has become a tradition, then tradition needs to change immediately. We're not eating because we're hungry (because we're not); we're not eating because we need to (we don't); we're not eating to nourish our bodies (we're stuffing ourselves like Mom does the turkey). We're eating because this is what we do at Christmas, it tastes good, and if it's there: DOWN IT! Gratify yourself! It's Christmas!
In the grand scheme of things, and even in the small space of the present, Christmas was never about gratifying ourselves to the point where we feel ill. It's not even about inviting others to our tables so they can learn to stuff themselves like we do already. If anything, Christmas is about gently cradling those precious treasures meant to be stored in heaven and cherishing the ability to share Love in a world of darkness.
Anyone else have ideas as to how to keep the pounds off?