The sweetest things…


So, I have a confession to make… I can seriously put away some snack food. No joke. If there is anything remotely munchie-like in the house I’ll devour it. Chips. Small candies. Cookies. Brownies. And especially cereal. We cannot have cereal of any kind in the house lest I gain massive amounts of weight courtesy of my friends at General Mills. Of course, you know what happens… you get what I call “a-hankering” for something… that’s “southern” for craving, jonesing, etc… and you cannot stop thinking about it until you’ve gotten a taste.

That is exactly what happened to me a couple of days ago. I got a massive hankering for Lucky Charms… OOOOOOHHHHHH Yeah! That sugary, marshmellowy, “turn the milk in your bowl an odd shade of grey” goodness… fortified with vitamins and minerals… Now, I haven’t had Lucky Charms in years, but for some reason, I was just like ravenous for some Lucky Charms. So, that’s what I got… and six bowls later and several dozen handfuls and that box was gone… it didn’t even last a day. (Unfortunately, now that I am talking about them, I want them again…)

Here’s the thing with cereals, especially those like Lucky Charms: they’re great for a while, but really bad for you if you eat them all the time as your only source of nutrition… even with all those vitamins and minerals. As kids, we learn to eat breakfast and so we start with things like Lucky Charms, Cocoa Puffs, Honey Smacks, and the like, but as we grow our parents point us to more nutritious things like fruit, and whole grain bagels, and other things for breakfast. Those things are good for you and the taste is pretty good, but come on, they are no Lucky Charms.

Now, as a adults a couple of things might happen: either we never let ourselves have the taste of those sugary cereals and we only eat whole wheat mush, or we reject the more healthy foods all-together, sticking with the all-fat breakfast… or of course there are those people that don’t eat breakfast at all…

Spiritually, we can allow ourselves to fall into a rut. As I observe Christians I know, they typically fall into similar categories when it comes to their Bible intake. 1) They only stick to the promises and the passages that talk about God’s love and forgiveness, they keep to the warm, feel-good passages… they typically ignore the parts where God is a judge or a warrior. 2) There are also people who are always wanting a kick in the pants from the Bible. To these people, the justice of God is the main thing… Hell, fire and brimstone are the passages that get their spiritual juices flowing. When they do talk about God’s forgiveness and love, it is usually followed by a, “yeah, but… God is a righteous and holy judge…” 3) And this is the worst… there are those “Christians” who don’t get into the Bible at all, fearing they might be challenged or disappointed or their preconceived ideas about God might be blown up.

I can totally understand all three of these reactions because the fact is the Bible is challenging, and our minds are small. Even the brightest of people run up against things they can’t wrap their brains around. So, what are we to do? Quit? Stick to only one topic and that be our personal version of God?

The Scripture makes it pretty clear that we need all these things, whether we get it our not. The writer of Hebrews says it pretty clearly

…you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. Hebrews 5:12b-14

But then Peter says…

2Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. 1 Peter 2:2-3

So, what can we say? Every once in a while we need the Lucky Charms of the Bible. The sweet stuff, the stuff that shows us that in order to enter the Kingdom of God we have to do so as a little child. But at the same time, we can’t stay there. We need the meat. The roughage. The stuff that maybe a bit tough to swallow, but once it’s there it is so good for the soul.

What’s the lesson in all this? Eat your Lucky Charms, eat your non-fat yogurt with whole wheat bagels. Eat your pancakes and bananas… Read the Psalms, read Leviticus, read Revelation and John.

Read the whole Bible. Ultimately, it’s all good.

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