“So, you’re really going to eat that?”
“Yup! And then I’m gonna have dessert!”
Eight-year-old Sydney skipped away, M&M’s flying off the side of her plate. Of course she was skipping. The anticipation of that much candy had her sugar levels rocketing off to a grand start.
There was turkey on the plate. With the M&M’s, Twizzlers and Cheetos.
So what food groups do they fit into? The junk-food-fast-train-to-a-tummy-ache food group.
When you have a crowd of people over and are serving a buffet meal, the idea is to lay it all out so everyone can load their plates with the main meal first and come back for dessert. Later. Kids rarely follow such rules. Can you blame them? The candy is bright and cheerful, multi-colored and full of texture. Full of chocolate. Full of sugar! Turkey, on the other hand, is off-white, essentially colorless, and it tastes like, well, meat. It might be good for you, but where’s the fun in that? Faced with a bowl of green beans and a bowl of peanut M&M’s, there’s little debate as to what small hands reach for first.
Frankly, I struggle with what to grab first.
I can be more adult about it. I can walk by and casually grab a few M&M’s, pop them in my mouth, and no one is really the wiser. Kids have to grab handfuls of the stuff. Dropping them on the floor. Stepping on them and squishing them into the carpet. Easily noticeable.
Where my subtle moves get me into trouble is the number of times I go back for those few pieces of candy. Much like a cow grazing for hours in a pasture, I can graze a whole bowl of those little suckers without blinking an eye.
And then I don’t just feel sick. I feel bad.
This is my life. The temptations of this world are constantly bombarding me with what appears desirable in the moment. The excitement, the color, the adventure! The things that are edgy, even forbidden, hold an allure that draws me in as easily as if I were a fish on a hook. Caught. Trapped. Reeled in.
I’m aware of them. I don’t always make good choices.
Moses warned the Israelites of the temptations they’d be facing in the promised land, the dangers they would need to avoid. By choice.
“This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to Him. For the Lord is your life…” Deuteronomy 30:19-20a
It really all comes down to choices.