OK… quick show of hands: who has ever heard the comment, “Why you’re a chip off the old block, aren’t you?”
Personally, I have heard it more than a few times… and I usually take it as high praise.
One reason might be because I am a United Methodist pastor – just like my dad. But I also like to think people are telling me that I occasionally manifest one or two of his better personal qualities.
There is one way, however, that I wish I did not resemble my dad quite so much. That is in the whole area of life we lovingly call “portion control.”
Here is a photo of my late father taken a few years ago. As you can see here, he is rather excitedly preparing to dive headfirst into a serving of peach cobbler.
A REALLY BIG serving of peach cobbler.
Just like my dad, I also like to eat. And also like my dad, I have zero sense of portion control. I occasionally eat until it hurts, or the buttons on my pants burst… whichever comes first.
Usually, after this kind of eating orgy, I am in serious pain. I can’t walk for a while and when I finally regain my footing, I waddle like a crippled duck. I take an oath – to my reflection in the mirror, to my wife, and to anyone else within earshot – that I will NEVER, EVER do that again.
And I keep that oath. That is, until the next time Joan serves some delicious peach cobbler. And yes, also like my dad, I am a complete SUCKER for peach cobbler.
Then the other day, as I was trying to figure out a cure for this disorder of mine, I realized that food is hardly the only department of my life where I need a little discipline and PORTION CONTROL.
I looked up and (GASP!) caught myself gorging on network TV news. First, there was a heaping helping of Domestic Political Discord. To that, I added a little analysis of Disturbing National Trends, followed with a chaser of Unrest on the International Scene.
By the time I had finished the main course and then tucked into a dessert of Social Media Snark, my capacity was well and truly tested. Not at all surprisingly the effect was remarkably similar to cramming a mountain of peach cobbler into my mouth.
Please understand… I am not at all opposed to staying current on local, national, and international events. I think awareness of our world is critical for every thinking, engaged person.
I am rather advocating for Portion Control… a sensible, balanced approach to the things we choose to stick into our heads and hearts.
However, upon further review, I suddenly realize there actually IS one commodity we can never, ever consume too much of.
Yep… God’s Word.
We can pile our plates high morning, noon, and night with Scripture Salad and still maintain our svelte, girlish figures.
The Psalmist says essentially the same thing when he/she says: “I do not turn away from your ordinances, for you have taught me. How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”(Psalm 119: 102-103, NRSV).
So crack open your Bibles and eat up!
And don’t be afraid to come back for seconds.