Monday, January 21, 2013

The Burn

I have an addiction.  It's that liquid substance that fuels me: diet coke.  Specifically, a Polar Pop from a very specific local gas station is my passion.  I don't like them from a can or a bottle.  It has to be from a fountain and I'm very picky about which places make them taste "just" right.  I could even tell you which location one was purchased from just be taste. Yes, addicted.

That little 79 cents treasure restores my sanity. 

I've kicked the habit a couple of times.  Yet, I always tend to go back.

I don't even want to admit how many I can down on a "rough" day or weekend day in the summer. 

It's alarming.

I know it's bad.  I know it's wrong to be addicted to something.  I know it's HORRIBLE for my body.  I even know the pitfalls of the aspartame ingredient and it's effect on my lupus. 

I know. 

Yet, I stay stuck in my own addiction.

Even though I physically know the benefits that come from breaking the habit, I easily go back.

Since this new year started, we've been encouraged to participate at some level in a fast/prayer focus at church.  One of the things I immediately knew would be on my list of things to sustain from was going to be my diet coke. 

Though I've not been "perfect" in abstaining 100% (I've had about half of  3 in the last three weeks), I've definitely done amazingly well and my family survived those first few days without!

However, I did make it almost two weeks without any and I noticed something that first time. 

Drinking it BURNED.  It burned my throat and it burned my nose.

As Kevin and were driving down the road from getting that drink and I was attempting to enjoy it, I thought of how I never noticed that "burn" anymore.

I'd had so many that I had become accustomed to it to the point that I didn't even notice it.  The acidic nature didn't even phase me.  I'd been addicted for so long that I don't even remember how long it took that burning to go away in the beginning.  My body and mind just no longer processed it.  Perhaps, even my physical make up had changed in a not good way in attempts to protect itself.

I think that is where we can easily find ourselves in other areas.  Just like putting a frog in a pain of water.  It will stay there and let you gradually turn up the heat, not realizing what is happening.

Are we doing that with sin or with the things we surround ourselves with?

In my opinion, yes!

Kevin and I often talk about movies and the things that we can no longer subject ourselves to watching.  Many times, I think people truly don't see what is in them.  They no longer "hear" the language or realize how often the words are being said.  Inappropriate sex scenes, violence, etc... just don't really register in the brain as they once did. 

When we stopped watching TV, we were shocked to see how much more acutely aware our senses were when did watch something.  Just like we tend to tune out commercials, we had been doing that with what we were seeing and hearing.

What about other areas?

I wonder where else we are no longer aware of the "burn"? 

How are we spending our time? What is the condition of our heart? Where do we carry bitterness and unforgiveness?

Where else have we let sin creep in to the point that we don't even recognize it anymore?

Unfortunately, if we take a REAL look at ourselves I'm certain there are many areas.  Areas that we've become calloused.  Areas that we just don't even pay attention to anymore because it just feels so normal or accepted.

I don't want to be a frog in a pan of hot water, just adjusting to the temperature as it gets hotter and hotter.  Maybe just like with the TV or the diet coke, I need to step away from some things just to clear it from my system so I can see if after sometime away it leaves that nasty burn.  That reminder that I need to know that something isn't good for me and for my heart.  It isn't beneficial for my well being.  Or to see if it is separating me from God instead of drawing me closer. 

That burn is a good thing.  A reminder that something might be dangerous or not the best for my well-being.  Time to step away.  Don't let myself get so used to something that I no longer TRULY see what it is doing negatively.

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