Devotion: Consumption

“I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” John 6:61

While I am cranking out 40 miles per week in preparation for the New York Marathon, I have realized I often focus on my production over my consumption.  In our society, we are often judged based on what we produce.

Can we hit the metrics for our company?  Are we surpassing the quotas? What are we producing? Our children, our homes, our date nights, our quiet times, and our exercise logs all become visible markers of what we are producing.

Over the weekend, I had run 22 miles on a planned 20 mile.  I had overproduced…

But then, that same day, I accidentally poured carwash soap into my windshield wiper reservoir.  The bubbles, soapy residue and streaks all made me realize it is not only important what I produce, but just as important what I consume.

I had been able to run the 22 miles because I finally learned to carry water and shotblocks and gu with me.  Figuring out the proper consumption was just as essential as my production.

While many of us worry about what we are producing, how often do we stop to look at what we are consuming?  Or do we just grab the blue liquid and pour it into our lives, only to discover later after the soapy streaks cloud your vision all the mistakes you have made.

It is often said that if you look at someone’s calendar and checkbook you can see where their priorities are. I would now also include looking at someone’s streaming and browser history. What we are consuming influences who we are.

[For example, this article shows the link between porn-addicted teenage boys and their behaviors. (WARNING: some graphic language in it): Sex Before Kissing: How 15 Year Old Girls are Dealing with Porn-Addicted Boys.]

As I have made the mistake of listening to CNN as I drive around, I can feel the absorption of the divisiveness and anger into my own life as I consume it. Stuffing myself with 4 hours of football on Sunday to watch the Panthers lose, I can feel the malaise and irritability spill out after the game.

Whether it’s drinking to distraction or tirelessly researching our fantasy football, rosters what we consume–what music we listen to, what television we watch, what articles we read, what websites we visit–influences the attitude and demeanor we exude.

To me, it is no wonder that the main metaphors Jesus uses to describe himself are the Bread of Life and the Living Water.  He knows how vital consumption is for proper production, and he desires to feed our lives and our souls.  Notice how the God of the Bible is the one deity who does not want us to feed Him, but rather wants to feed us.  However, John 6:66 tells us that when the disciples learned of this, many found it too difficult and decided to go off and continue feeding themselves with their own crappy food.

So what are you consuming?


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