Thursday, September 13, 2012

Painted Ponies

Painted Ponies
I love fall and this county fair time of year.  It's a tradition with my daughter and I that we make the annual trek, even though we both know we won't see anything new.  We arrived at the fairgrounds and we were greeted with the usual hustle and bustle.  We looked and laughed at the entries.  We like to judge them ourselves.  If I were a fair judge, would hand out different awards and ribbons to the most precious of entries.  We saw livestock and showpieces and those who had tendered their care.  We saw it all and gave our opinions to each other.

We even walked carnival row and allowed the barkers to shout.  "Come here...it's only a dollar!" for whatever game they were selling.  I never bought into those games.  We shared the traditional funnel cake treat.  Oh...those are so deliciously bad for you.  We judged ourselves for taking part in that fare.

With powdered sugar still on my face, I looked up to see the most striking exhibit.  It was a carnival worker at the kids merry-go-round.  The painted ponies were spinning fast but my gaze stopped and locked onto one the workers.  She was very overweight.  She had just gotten her a plate of some kind of cheesy-mounded-goodness with the biggest thermos mug-full of Mountain Dew a Quick Trip store could sell.  She knelt down on the dry ground at the edge of her work space to eat.  I had to look away.  

But then I looked back and immediately tears started to stream.  God spoke to my heart in that moment and said..."See what happens when you open your life to food idols?"  Ouch!  He reminded me that I had slowly shifted away in my obedience of eating right and I had let food be more important than it should have been.  And as the painted pony worker powered down her unhealthy meal, God painted a warning that I will always remember.  

Many plates later....

Oh my wayward heart.....God once again brought this whole scene back to my mind, and today I have to tell you that I have fallen under the subtle romance of food...again.  I have taken a ride on a painted pony on the unhealthy merry-go-round of food.  I am ashamed to write this but it's true.  And maybe this is where the healing begins.  Again.  I can only say that I have allowed it for comfort and pleasure.  

Now I am judging myself.  I tend to easily dismiss my own food sin.  And when I talk about some "dark" places in my heart...food is always there lurking in the corners leaving crumbs of desires.  Can I just tell you now that I've opened the door to allow God's love and light to enter in?  

Yes, this really goes that deep for me.  

I am tired of riding this spinning painted-pony ride, up and down, on this merry-go-round of health and fitness.  No more barely gripping on to the good benefits of eating right just sometimes.   I guess you could call this my "thorn". 

I want to start caring again.  

"Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived.  But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these...from your lips."  Colossians 3:5, 7-8

There is freedom in your discovery of whatever sin or thorn you might have in your life.   Is there anything that causes you to slowly spin away from God?  Is there something you want to ignore and dismiss because it's not that bad?

Do you know that God wants so much more for us?  

What I have found in my declaration of my weakness is my need for more dependence on God.  In my dependence on God, comes the of independence of whatever sin is weighing me down.  That's freedom at it's finest.  That's God at work, and that's my best life off of sin's painted-pony-merry-go-rounds.  

What sin do you need to let go of?  I've told you one of mine...


13 comments:

Deb said...

I too struggle with food. I have allowed it to be my best friend. I have put it first even in front of God. We have spent many late nights together because I needed it for comfort. I just wanted the pain to go away some way some how. Little did I know that every second that I spent with food God was there too sitting right beside me. Why did I choose to ignore him & instead reach out to food? That question burned in my soul & I finally awakened. God is now my comfort. He loves me no matter what & he is always there for me. He has shown me how to forgive & how to live one day at a time without food being my #1. I had to let go & trust in him. It was the best decision that I have ever made. Thank you for sharing your heart Janelle. Your words help more than you will ever know. Keep writing always :)

Zinty said...

Your honesty challenges me and I know makes God glad!! Thanks, again for sharing!! :)

Micah said...

Thank you for this. :)

Carol said...

I struggle with the food god as well. Thanks for sharing.

Meghan said...

I love your heart friend, you are such a blessing!

Pam Worcester said...

Yes, food is a comfort when I am frustrated or disappointed or upset. Pretzel M&Ms seem to be my latest obsession. Why is it so hard to look to God for comfort? I know how I feel after gorging on my favorite comforts - oh how my tummy aches. I know how I feel after eating healthy snacks - oh how my tummy feels good! Just as my heart would feel good if I looked to God for my comfort! So glad that His mercies are new every morning. Thank you, my friend, for sharing your heart!

Brenda Goetz Salladay said...

I wanted to quit reading at the painted pony worker, then I wanted to quit with the talk of the subtle romance of food. I myself have called chocolate my best friend and eating healthy used to be a bad word. I struggle so much but I kept reading as God was telling me this is for YOU too. Why does this thorn have to taste so good? I just told my Doctor yesterday that I would start eating better and than I read this today. I must OBEY and listen and give it to GOD!

Janelle Keith said...

Thank you all for reading today. This was hard to share but I also appreciate your honesty back to this topic. It helps to know that I am not the only one who struggles to give God everything. Thank you friends.

Wendy said...

Wonderful post with great, poignant & thought provoking questions.

Heather said...

Oh Janelle... Sister... oh my... I thought I was the only one who really felt like this! I have chills - and a knot in the pit of my stomach! Wow. Thank you so much for sharing this. (((hugs))) God bless!

Janelle Keith said...

This was hard to write but God is trying to get me past this revolving door of obedience to Him in everything. Our hearts are so fickle and faint and easily bow to the thing most near and for me sweet. So I am taking my eyes off food and refocus them back where they belong. My heart already wants to please Him..now just need to get my heart and mind on the same page. But we will get there! Because God wants us there too. :)

Marleen said...

I am afraid that I can't like it enough! Been there so many times. Still working. Sometimes I am good at it and sometimes not so good.

Aaron said...

AMEN