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Saturday, December 6, 2008


I like chocolate. A lot. But I’m not the only one. After a recent trip I had one of those dump-truck size bags of M&M’s from Costco left over so I poured them all in a bowl that sat on the coffee table in my office. They’re gone now. But soon I will hear about it because I have staff meetings in that office – and people eat M&M’s. I have Leadership Board meetings in there – and Dan Blair REALLY eats M&M’s. The Sunday morning prayer groups meet in there – and it is never too early in the morning to eat chocolate, I’ve discovered. And I’m in that office. And I eat M&M’s (but not as much as Dan).

Having that bowl of M&M’s sitting there makes it awfully easy to just “reach out and touch one.” And, like the popular potato chip commercial of days gone by, “you can’t just eat one.” The maker of M&M’s knows this. They like that it is true.

The good news for me is at least on a monthly basis I can find an article on the internet or in the newspaper that links a health benefit to eating chocolate. I know, I know – they are mostly talking about dark chocolate but if the dark is good, cousin “Milk” has got to be good, too. Right? Right!? That is the good news.

The bad news is that spinning dial on that flat contraption made of metal and springs in my bathroom, commonly referred to as a scale. The bad news literally outweighs the good news.

I’ve been spending some reading time in the book of Proverbs in the Bible lately. I try to go back there pretty regularly, especially the first nine chapters. Those nine chapters set the stage for the next 22 chapters of one-liners that can become so memorable. A few days ago I was reading chapters four and five and my mind keeps going back to the words found there.
"Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil." (Proverbs 4:25-27, NIV)
It’s the fundamental rule of riding a motorcycle that the writer speaks of here. The rule is this: “You go where you look.

You don’t want to hit that dead skunk in the middle of your lane? Don’t stare at it. You want to make the sharp turn even though you feel like you are going too fast? Look through the turn to where you want to be – not where you don’t want to be. Many, many, many novice (and not so novice) motorcycle riders have neglected this rule to their own peril and detriment.

The words that follow in chapter five are a father’s instruction to his son on how to stay morally and sexually pure and they are a repeat of “You go where you look.” He is telling his son not to go near the house of the woman who will seek to entice him into ruin.
"Keep to a path far from her, do not go near the door of her house, lest you give your best strength to others and your years to one who is cruel," (Proverbs 5:8-9, NIV)
Now the really cool thing about this is that this wise father doesn’t just stop at telling his son to stay away, he gives his son the right thing to look at because “You go where you look.” What is a young guy to look toward? His wife.
"Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well."
"Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love." (Proverbs 5:15,18-19, ESV)
There it is – the biblical command to be intoxicated…with love! The NASB version of the Bible says to be “exhilarated,” the NIV version translates it as “captivated.” It is wise to look at what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. (see Philippians 4:8) Not only is it wise, it is intoxicating and exhilarating.

Here is the good news. For every thing that threatens to capture your exhilaration and lead you down paths of destruction, God has created something that is even better, that is even more exhilarating and satisfying. Your job? Ask God to reveal it and then start looking at it. It is where you will go. Allow yourself to be captivated by what could be when you embrace God’s best.

I’m not done eating chocolate – remember, it has proven health benefits. I’m just going to eat the right chocolate – in the right amounts.

Oh, and all you guys and gals who meet in my office – BYOC. The dump truck is empty (thanks Dan) and will stay that way!
"He who is steadfast in righteousness will attain to life, And he who pursues evil will bring about his own death." (Proverbs 11:19, NASB95)

1 comment:

Matt Boring said...

We are looking at "Self control" at boys 2 Men. We had a great discussion about temptation and the fact that if we were never tempted there wouldn't be much of a need for self control. It was great to see the level of understand the kids have regarding what God expects, and the tools he gives us to counter Temptation -1 Corinthians 10"No temptation has seized you.....He will show you a way out so that you will not give in" the problem the kids recognize is that it takes self control to step back and look for the way out. As we went around the circle it became apperent that we miss the mark far more often that we hit it. Thank God for Grace

The dark choclate squares in the little foil packs were really, Really good. 4X4 meets in your office on Tuesdays! We had to remove the bowl out of our site to keep from eating them. I wish it was always that simple!