I was walking into Taco Bell recently because I make terrible choices and I heard the guy in front of me tell his girlfriend that his stomach was hurting. This was before he ordered his food.
At Taco Bell.
This is like saying you are afraid of clowns while walking into a circus or that you have a highly sensitive nose while heading toward a port-a-potty or that you despise movies with stupid premises before buying a ticket to see Battleship. It makes absolutely no sense.
I wonder about his thought process….
“Man, my stomach is hurting. It’s like my insides are being tied in knots by someone who is both ferociously strong and terrible at tying knots. And since I’m pretty sure I’m about to die, I might as well go to Taco Bell.”
Based upon my limited information it seems unlikely that he died. It is also unclear as to whether eating Taco Bell cuisine caused more damage to his insides. Or if this incident caused his girlfriend to change her relationship status to “it’s complicated.”
I suppose I’ll never know why he chose to eat at Taco Bell with an already upset stomach, but I must admit that his line of thinking is not too different from how I have operated in the past.
As a teenager I was introverted and aloof, yet desperately wanted real friends. What did I do? I stayed introverted and aloof. The very thing that caused my loneliness is what I turned to when I was lonely.
As a younger adult I was often depressed about my weight. What did I do? I tried to drown my depression in Little Debbie Snack Cakes and double cheeseburgers. The very foods that contributed to my weight problem are what I turned to when I was upset about my weight problem.
As a young minister I was plagued with low self-confidence. What did I do? I saw my lack of self-confidence as yet another reason why I was a failure. The very thoughts that hurt my self-confidence are what I turned to when I lacked self-confidence.
It seems I have had the same problem throughout my life as the guy at Taco Bell. There is a good possibility you have, too. The very actions that cause us pain and distress are often the very actions we turn to when we are faced with pain and distress.
While this is sad by itself, what is even worse is when we do this we ignore Jesus who is beckoning us with His arms open wide.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Difficult lives are made more difficult when we get into a vicious cycle of bad choices which lead to bad consequences which lead to more bad choices. Difficult lives are traded in for lives filled with God’s presence when we respond to the words of Jesus with faith and fervency.
We don’t need more Taco Bell; we need more Jesus.
What bad food choices have you made recently? What do you do when you need more Jesus?
Matt Cannon is a pastor but not one of those types of pastors. He doesn’t have all the answers or nice hair. He likes chicken and dumplings. And Rocky Road ice cream. And incomplete sentences. He believes that a pastor can be serious, silly, and sometimes poem-y. You can finding him doing all of the above at his site The Seeking Pastor.
*image by leloft1911