i don’t wanna be a pharaoh

Posted: January 30, 2017 in Uncategorized

On my annual “listen through the Bible” journey, this morning I listened as once again the Pharaoh had chance after chance to “let My people go” and blew it, time after time.  Each refusal brought increasingly dire consequences; sometimes he started to sound like he might compromise, but invariably he reneged.  I’m not excited that tomorrow’s listen will be the final plague – the death of the first-borns.  That one is hard to hear, because I don’t process it as “reading a story” – I enter in, imagining vividly, and the horror is real.

My number one objective in listening through the Bible like this is to know God more; one of the very best side benefits is I know myself more.  That happens as I watch to discover where I see myself – my own heart, my own motives, my own decisions, my own faults, my own strengths, etc. – in everything I read.  In other words, I hold it up like a mirror and ask God to show me what I need to see about myself.  He’s good at answering that one.

I saw myself in Pharoah’s continually hardening heart today.  The example that came to me is very vivid and very important for me, though I don’t know – it may seem small or silly if you’re not me.

Through the process of an elimination diet awhile back, I figured out that sugar is basically poison for me.  When I consume it, what happens can be best described by analogy – it’s like some evil little being runs to the switchboard in my brain and starts flipping off important switches – things like self-control and satiation.  Once I start with sugar, soon enough I am not in charge at all of what is going into my mouth – I’m a food-seeking zombie, and the main prize I am seeking is – you guessed it – more sugar.

The primary offender here seems to be refined sugar.  My continual ongoing experimental research seems to indicate that I can get away with very small amounts of honey or real maple syrup.  I don’t know the science and I could be wrong on this point, but it appears that way to me.

The other things I learned in that elimination diet is that dairy (especially milk) gives me post-nasal drip (though I can get away with occasional small amounts of cheese), and that refined carbs always make me want more food (which, combined with their relative garbage value nutritionally, should make my choice obvious).  This is all very clear information; it shouldn’t be hard to avoid the things that trigger me.  Freedom is absolutely available to me.  I just have to resist a few specific temptations, and that will allow me to be in control of my eating and thereby to have a lot of power over my own health.

Here’s how I’m like Pharaoh:  I have a clear message, and over and over I stubbornly insist on doing the opposite of what will work.  I go without sugar and I do well, and then I help myself to a cookie and run myself off the cliff.  I’m not one iota better off about sugar than an alcoholic is about alcohol – I can’t afford the luxury of “just a little bit.”  I KNOW THIS, unequivocally.  But time and time again, I tell myself whatever I need to tell myself, or I have a “not paying attention” moment, and I reach for something full of refined sugar.  I take a few bites, and “my heart is hardened.”

The story didn’t end well for Pharaoh – tomorrow’s the day I’ll listen to the horror of that. That’s a choice available to me – I can continue doing what will wreck my health, and I can even die from it.    I’m aiming for a better story, but it’s not a foregone conclusion that I get it, if I continue going the wrong direction.

As long as I keep returning to sugar like, as one of the most disgustingly vivid scriptures says, “a dog to its own vomit”…I’m knocking my trajectory for the better story off course.

I don’t wanna be a Pharaoh.  Off to talk to Jesus some more about that.

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