Friday, July 6, 2012
Cheap, yet empty...
While shopping for a few groceries the other day, I was reminded of how crazy things can be in this life. I was making a conscious effort of buying healthier foods for my family. As I filled up my cart with fresh fruits and veggies, lean meats, and whole grains, I was astounded (yet again) at the cost of "healthy living". Amazing... one can buy a double cheeseburger, fries, and a soda all for LESS than the simple package of organic granola I had to HUNT for in the massive store to go with my fruit and yogurt craving for breakfast. Looking for higher protien and fewer carbs and sugars? You can expect to pay nearly double the price. Fast, quick, and easy (and empty) calories abound, while one has to actually shop and read labels to try and avoid the processed chemicals. Even then, there are commercialized "promises" on labels you have to know about to avoid. Often times something "healthy" can actually be just as bad as the other stuff, for example, "fat-free" often means "loaded with sugar". Like I said earlier... it's crazy.
Why? Why is it more difficult, more expensive, and more stressful to go back to the old ways? Americans used to grow their own salads, milk their own dairy, and yes, even kill their own meat. It was simply the way of life, no one thought any differently about it. A plate at the dinner table that seemed to be "normal" over 50 years ago is considered a gourmet feast to some now days... home-grown vegetables, fresh grilled meat, and desserts made from scratch and not out of a box. Ever wonder why your grandmother's recipe is usually 10 times better than your own? Yeah, it's because she took her time and did it right with fresh ingredients.
This microwave age we live in is literally lethal. It's killing us. No, this is not another "health nut" blog post about the dangers lurking in our kitchens, although they are most definitely there and I'm just as guilty as you are about serving it to my family. But what I connected after putting away my meager, yet expensive, goods the other day is simply this... it's just plain difficult sometimes to do the right thing. Not just in grocery shopping, but in everyday life.
It's a battle to pray, read my Bible, fast, give of my precious time, energy, and resources. It's a constant struggle to think of others before I think of myself, to cleanse my mind and soul of the toxins of this world, to come out and be separate, to sacrifice the pleasures of this life in order to gain eternity... it's very costly. Holiness does not come cheap, and I don't necessarily mean a dollar figure. In fact, to live this life the way the Scripture says costs all that you have. And even by giving all that we have, by giving up all that we naturally want when we come into the world, born under the curse of sin, even then... it could never really be enough.
Ah, but the benefits of trading the empty, good-tasting, quick and convenient "calories" for the healthier, unprocessed, home-grown, vitamin-packed "nutrients"... the pro's far outweigh the con's. You see, when the body is cleansed from toxins and chemicals, things run smoother and more efficiently! There are fewer health risks, better sleep, lower blood pressure, unclogged arteries, regulated blood sugars, fewer pounds, stronger muscles and bones... the list goes on and on! Yes, I'm speaking of the physical... but it applies even more so to the spiritual. Trading convenience for quality... it goes a long way from the view of eternity.
So, yes... I will gladly "spend more" now. I will take the time to prepare instead of throwing something together. Because the "empty calories" are just that... empty.
Mark said it very well... "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" (Mark 8:36, KJV)