Tuesday, September 22, 2009

30 Days of Tasting

Day 9

True confessions. I fell prey to the golden arches today. And believe it or not, that is the most memorable taste of the day! I succumbed to number 6 on the menu—a double cheeseburger and fries. I didn’t even try to eat somewhat healthy. If I was going to fall, I was going to fall big. (No, I didn’t super size! I have some scruples.)

Here’s what happened. I spent three hours cleaning a rental property that my brothers and I own together. We had to evict the occupants and are fixing it up so that we can find (hopefully!) some decent renters. My brothers had done all the painting and fix up, so it was my turn to apply some elbow grease to cleaning it. Okay. I don’t really like cleaning someone else’s dirt. I wasn’t totally depressed. But it was hard scrubbing down cabinets, a bathtub and toilet and washing yellow nicotine off the windows.

So, when I left, I was hungry. The nearest intersection to the rental had two options, a Taco Bell and a McDonald's. I chose the later. I even looked forward to it! The anticipation of a greasy cheeseburger felt somehow like a “reward” for doing a job I really didn’t enjoy doing.

On the way home, I thought about my impulse to seek pleasure in something that had immediate gratification after having done something that was unpleasant. I understand that it’s natural to try to find some kind of release after hard work. So, I’m not so hung up on my choice of such a dubious reward.

But as I was driving home, I began a thoughtful conversation with God about the whole thing. By this time, I was feeling very full and a twinge guilty, accompanied with a sudden urge to exercise. It occurred to me that many people spend a lot of their days doing work they hate. Their lives are filled with drudgery, pain and hopelessness. No wonder people look to alcohol, food addictions and sex to counter the depressing ambiance of their lives.

It made me wonder how I would do if I were them.

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