Photo courtesy of DHDesignI wake up slowly wondering why I feel so rested and what woke me up since I don't hear the alarm clock. The alarm clock? I bolt up in bed and squint at the neon green numbers. Oh no! The alarm was supposed to go off an hour ago! Not stopping to figure out what happened, I leap out of bed and hurry to start dressing, leaving the bed in a crumpled heap. I have to get to a doctor's appointment and get the grocery shopping done before the plumber arrives at 2:00 to fix our leaky faucet in the bathroom. The kids wake up one by one, moving as slowly as they possibly can--or at least it seems so. I mumble a quick, "Help me, Lord, today!" by way of my morning devotions and dress everyone as quickly as possible. I glance at the clock. No time for breakfast. Herding everyone into the car, I fasten carseats as fast as possible. "Mommy, I'm hungry!" one of the kids whine. "We'll get something on the way," I promise as I jump into the driver's seat. Irritable from being rushed around and no breakfast, they start fighting in the back seat. I bite my lip to keep from shooting back an equally irritable response. Glancing down at the gas gauge, I realize that we may have to walk if I don't fill up very soon. Grumbling again, I scan the sides of the road to see which I get to first, a gas station or a McDonald's.
Photo courtesy of WanderingWhitehorseAfter filling up and ordering breakfast for the kids and myself, I'm back on the road with barely enough time to get there before they will start calling for the next patient. Searching for something to calm my nerves, I switch on the radio station. The music is a little too heavy on drums and electric guitars for my taste and the words are hard to catch, but I didn't think to pick up my Ipod on the way out.
I pile everyone out of the car at the doctor's office, feeling like I'm going to drop over from exhaustion even though I've been up less than 2 hours. After checking in, I drop into a chair to wait my turn. Beside me on the table are some women's magazines, so I pick one up. I'm in the middle of a great book, but it is at home. I didn't have time to grab that either.
Photo courtesy of julep67
Later at the grocery store, when the kids ask for a candy bar and a pop, I don't have the willpower to say no because that's exactly what sounds good to me, too. It's been a tough morning...everyone deserves a little treat...right? Rushing through the store, I finally get home with about 10 minutes to spare before the plumber is due to arrive. Seeing the mess we made as we hurried to get out of the house that morning, I quickly order the kids to start picking up their mess and rush to put away groceries. "At least there are no dishes in the sink," I console myself as I hear the start of another fight and a knock at the door simultaneously.
Sound familiar? I hope your mornings aren't like this on a regular basis. Unfortunately, I've had scenarios like this happen more often than I'd like to think. A morning full of junk food. We all know that fast food is not healthy for our children or us, but that's not the only junk food that I had in this fictional-but-based-on-fact scenario. While I normally prepare a balanced, healthy breakfast for my kids, this particular morning it was easy to run through a drive through for a breakfast with little, if any, nutrition. I know that my days always go better after I've spent time with the Lord, but this time it was easy to send up a hurried prayer. Although I normally listen to edifying music that draws me closer to the Lord, I settled for music that had little, if any, message which was hidden by a bunch of noise. Since I didn't have any good reading material available, I had to sift through gossip and worldly advice to get very little "nutritious" material for my mind.
So what caused me to give up good nutrition physically, mentally and spiritually and accept inferior, fake food for my soul, body and mind? Urgency. I had a place to be and I had to be there quickly. There are lots of reasons for urgency--some of them out of our control. Better planning, more careful attention to details, being more organized: those things might have helped my day go more smoothly. Whatever brought me to it, the urgency of what I thought I needed to do--howbeit legitimate--outweighed the importance of spending time with the Lord and feeding our spirits, minds and bodies with nutritious food. Charles Hummel, in a classic work by the same title called it "the tyranny of the urgent". No wonder the Bible tells us, "Be still and know that I am God."
Photo courtesy of abcdz2000The most dangerous part of settling for junk food is that it is much easier to do so the next time. In my scenario, I made excuses for buying the junk food from the grocery store because I was already in the habit of fast food from my breakfast. Although we know junk food is inferior and doesn't satisfy, there is a craving for more once we indulge. Turning the radio off and listening to spiritual music and picking up a book that challenges my brain instead of a mind-numbing magazine will be more difficult after having "fed" spirit and mind with the inferior. No matter how difficult it might be to get back on track, the rewards of our efforts will be well worth it: a healthy and fit body, mind and spirit.