I'm disgusted. I had a frustrated, worrisome day yesterday and I sank right into the comfort of munching on leftover pizza crust. I didn't even eat the good stuff (meat, cheese, and sauce). I just ate the sorry, three-day-old pizza bones that my friends left in my fridge after their adventure to Beau Jo's Pizza. (It is arguably the best pie made by human hands, but that's beside the point.)
I've been carb- and sugar-free for a few months now. I've mustered the fortitude to forego licorice, dinner rolls, hamburgers, and even chocolate. There have been many times when I just wanted to eat something fluffy, something doughy, something full of sugar—but I resisted.
So why did I choose now to turn to stale, dry pizza crusts? I was frustrated. I was tired. I had thought long and hard about a problem and hadn't come up with a solution. So I traded in my sugar/carb-busting progress for a quick fix of gluten that, in the end, made me feel even worse.
Hungry for a quick fix?
Why do I so easily turn back to things that seem like a quick fix, but really are no fix at all? For me it's the mind-numbing ease of the "grab and stuff." I snatched that pizza and crammed it in my mouth without stopping to think about what I really wanted, which was for someone to still my anxious thoughts and tell me that I was okay even if I couldn't solve every problem. I don't think God is surprised by this. He knows we'll struggle with trying the same things over and over, returning to our own ideas that don't work. Proverbs 26:11 puts it this way: "As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his foolishness."
Wow. Not a favorable comparison, but oh so true in so many areas of my life. I feel discouraged or frustrated so I turn to food or television or other people in order to bring me comfort, distraction, and happiness . . . even though I know it won't work. So what's really going on?
Deeper than quick-fix prayers
I had a great conversation with a mentor and friend who knows me well. She often starts our conversations like this: "Sherry, what do you not want to talk about? Let's talk about that." She doesn't let me get away with hiding from what is uncomfortable because she knows that what's bothering me on the inside will soon show up on the outside. So she talked to me about pausing before jumping into a self-soothing solution like junk food or mindless television, and instead asking myself, What is it I really need?