I have spent the last four days shut inside my house with the heater roaring at full blast, which is uncommon for me; a 20 ounce mug that I found at Starbucks full of hot cocoa at least once a day; the quilt my mother made for me several years ago wrapped around me, and a bag of cheese puffs not far away.
The sleet began to fall late Monday night. The lowest temperatures Texas has seen in twenty years and roads covered in solid sheets of ice made for easy decisions to close schools on Tuesday and Wednesday. Burst water lines and sketchy electrical power added to the mix, leading the powers that be to close school for the remainder of the work week.
I'm not one for being cooped up. Growing up in Kansas was the only experience I needed to convince myself that I could handle a little roadtrip out to the grocery store on Tuesday. I needed some things. I hesitate to put those needed things in print lest someone mock me for the very idea that I "needed" them so as to risk my life to get them in weather as was such. I'll just go with: I needed some things. I am a good driver; a safe driver. And, I believe in the power of prayer.
It took me 35 minutes to get to the store no more than ten miles away. I said I was a good driver - people who drive fast on ice are NOT good drivers. What I hadn't counted on was the parking lot of the grocery store. The drive to the store was quite uneventful. The ice-skating event I participated in to get from my car to the front door would have won me a medal.
There were very few people in the store -imagine that! There were workers, though. A faithful few who went about their jobs as if the weather were no factor at all. Gathering my "needed" things, I made my way up the chip aisle, taking a short-cut to the check out lanes. And, there, shining like a beacon of gold, were the cheese puffs. Eye-level and beckoning, I picked up a bag.
Cheese puffs are not things I pick up on a regular basis. I lean more toward the tortilla chip or popcorn varieties of snacks. I have eaten cheese puffs before, as a child, getting orange-y powder on everything before I had the good-sense to wash my hands to keep my mother from grounding me for life. But, for whatever reason, I don't think to put them in my buggy on my regular grocery runs.
Tuesday was different. They called to me. They seemed, in my mind, to be the perfect compliment to a cold, blustery day. How this is true, I don't know. I can't make heads or tails of it, really. No more than I can explain the second trip I made to the grocery store on Thursday for another bag. Oh, there were other things that cropped up being needed, but I made a direct bee-line for the chip aisle. Another bag. Of cheese puffs.
Using any internet search engine to locate the health benefits of cheese puffs is futile. I know. I tried. There aren't any.
Apparently, even if my daily caloric intake could receive the 160 calories per serving, which is about 13 puffs, my body has no idea what to do with the stuff that cheese puffs are made of. Seriously. The junk that goes into making cheese puffs may taste good, but it is no good for your body. Our bodies weren't created to digest things like Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil or Monosodium Glutamate. All our bodies know to do is to store that stuff as fat, which is something I wish I'd known before the second bag was purchased. Oh well.
So, how come something that tastes so good can be so bad for us. Furthermore, how come things that taste so bad, like spinach and brussel sprouts, can be so good for us. It doesn't make sense to me.
And, if we can completely clear the table: how come stuff that is bad for us, looking further than our refrigerators and at the things we do in life, is so much fun? Like riding a motorcycle without a helmet; the cool breeze blowing through your hair, no clear sounds, just the rush of life standing still while you aren't. But, everyone knows that's not safe. The statistics are staggering of the number of motorcycle deaths each year due to not wearing a helmet. So, as exillerating as riding a motorcycle without a helmet is, it isn't good for us.
The flip-side is also true. Things that are good for us are often times, NOT fun. Like a colonoscopy - the health benefits are documented; the procedure, not so fun.
I just think life would have been a lot easier had God worked it out so that the good things in life were fun and the healthy things to eat were tasty. And, if He'd seen to it that the bad things in life were awful and painful and the nutrition-lacking things to eat tasted bad.
Easier. Life would be easier. That's all I'm saying.
I'd go for easy right about now. I am pretty terrible at doing what I am supposed to do, even if it causes pain or isn't immediately gratifying. I am equally as terrible at abstaining from that which isn't in my best interest but seems fun and exciting at the time.
But, perhaps if it were easy, I'd start thinking that I don't need His help or His Word or His Son. I'd stop relying on Him and start relying on things that won't get me any further than Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil or Monosodium Glutamate. If it were easy, I'd start banking on the easy-ness. And, then I'd be in more trouble than I am now with my cheese-powdered fingers death-gripping a bag of cheese puffs.
"For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:30
"Everything is permissible - but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible - but not everything is constructive." I Corinthian 10:23