Archives for: April 2009, 10
I’m reading a fascinating book called “The Screwtape Letters.” The author talked about the Blood Type Diet in the chapter I read this morning, though he couldn’t have known it, since the book was first published in 1942.
He started by recognizing that God has built into us natural desires which are good because they make life pleasant and possible. We need to eat; we long for friendships, and we appreciate beauty. One of the tactics of the devil is to take that innocent enjoyment and exaggerate it until it becomes perverse and harmful. An obvious example is how the natural desire for intimacy in marriage has been twisted so much that it has led to infidelity and immorality.
God made us so that change is pleasant. We enjoy the differences in the seasons, the diversity of personalities, and the thrill of travel. We also enjoy variety in the food that we eat.
The author grabbed my attention when he began to use food as an example. God never intended food to become an end in itself, he said. When it does, it can become the sin of gluttony on one end or an eating disorder on the other. This was particularly interesting to me, and as I thought about it, I expanded it, adding some of my own conclusions.
God himself built variety into food making it sweet, salty, sour, or bitter. Then he added all of the distinctions that fragrance add to taste. This is good, but where there is something good, there is fodder for the devil.
Sugar, and the sweetness it gives, is pleasing to the taste, but modern transportation and food processing have led to sugar addictions. We have an insatiable desire for sugar that, if it is unchecked, leads to disease. The same holds true for salt and fat.
Because our bodies are different, a food may be good for some, but bad for others. The beneficial and neutral food lists are long and filled with diversity. Yet how often do I read about unhappy Type Os who can’t make themselves give up wheat, or disappointed Type As who think giving up shrimp is unfair.
The author writes, “The pleasure of novelty is by its very nature more subject than any other to the law of diminishing returns.”
The quest for a new recipe can be good, and a new combination of tastes is exciting. But as I look at commercials for food products and restaurants I see what the author is talking about – an insatiable desire for change. On the Forum (and even around my on dinner table) I hear that food is boring.
I have examined myself this morning, asking to what degree has my innocent enjoyment of change been converted it into a demand to constantly have something new. Am I satisfied with the bounty that God has provided, or do I let my mind wander into the areas that are forbidden fruits? Am I contented or complaining? The honest answer, of course, is a little of both. The revelation to me is that to the degree that I am complaining, I am allowing my enemy to manipulate my mind and distract me from the goodness of God.