COOKIES & DIET COKE
By Debi Bell
I am sitting at my desk. I don’t have time to fight the traffic so I can go home before the next appointment. It is dinnertime and I am eating cookies and drinking a diet coke. There is not even enough time to stop by a fast food place. Don’t feel sorry for me. I did it to myself. Once again, I failed to think ahead and plan for proper nutrition. (Why is it always easier to keep a package of cookies in the desk than fresh fruit and vegetables? Hint – it has something to do with storage and spoilage.) Why didn’t God create carrots and bananas that fit into my briefcase and stay fresh for several months?
The limits of time, the laws of nature, and my own shortsightedness worked against my good intentions for a diet and proper nutrition again. You may ask me why the cookies were in my desk at all. My excuse sounds like this: “I know that I will get hungry every once in a while. So I keep them there for emergencies.”
So here I am settling for the quick fix. I do this in my spiritual life too. I admit it. As much as I like sinking my teeth into a great time of prayer and Bible Study, there are those days that I settle for the quick fix.
“If I can sleep just ten more minutes,” I say to myself some mornings, “I can pray on the way to work and listen to the Christian radio station. Or I can set aside thirty minutes later today.” I talk to God while I brush my teeth or dry my hair. I thank God for the glass of milk and bowl of cereal and rush out the door.
The limits of time, the laws of nature and my own poor planning, start off my day without spending quality time with God. Half way to work lost in the Christian music or distracted by the crazy drivers on the road I suddenly remember I was going to use that time to pray. OK, I’ll pray for the crazy drivers and the people mentioned on the news. (The quick fix… I did my prayer duty for the day.) That is about as good for my spiritual life as diet coke and cookies are for my body.
Keeping healthy spiritually and physically are related. They both require fresh, nutritious food. Maybe God didn’t create carrots and bananas to fit in my briefcase so He could remind me to keep my devotional and spiritual life fresh? Kind of reminds me of the manna He provided for His people in the desert.
Hey, the cookies and diet coke are gone! I must go or I will be late!!! After all, limits of time and laws of nature only allow us to be in one place at a time.
Commissioner Debi Bell is the Territorial President of Women’s Ministries for the US Southern Territory of The Salvation Army. Discipled by her mother and grandmother, a friend introduced Commissioner to The Salvation Army when she was just eleven years old. As a young officer, she married now-Commissioner Don Bell. The couple has served in corps and administrative appointments in USA West, National Headquarters and New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga Territory. An avid writer, Commissioner has published two books, Lyssa Lamb and The Lord is My Shepherd, Think, and many articles.