You wake up in the morning a few minutes later than you wanted. As you jump out of bed, your mind contemplates breakfast. The whole grain english muffins, peanut butter and bananas sit in the kitchen, ready to be thrown together for a delightful breakfast in no more than 5-8 minutes. Nevertheless, you reason that this time, it will be quicker for you to get out of the house and stop through a drive-thru somewhere and make a “good enough” choice. When you stop, it ends up taking just as long as it would have been, if not longer, had you just eaten what you had. And, you ended up having that white flour tortilla on your breakfast burrito…as well as fried hashbrowns.
The clock reads 1:55 PM as you feel a stomach growl coming on. Suddenly, a coworker walks by carrying two bags of candy. He is headed to the table in the back of the aisle to restock the half-filled candy containers that were placed there about two months ago. Your mind immediately contemplates the peanut butter cups you know to be there (you’ve seen before), so as you get up to head back to the table, it’s not hard to ignore the voice telling you that you don’t need any of that stuff. You go back there and get not one, but two peanut butter cups. After all, peanut butter is healthy, right?
In case you don’t know yet, I’m talking about my own recent encounters. I wanted to describe some of my own bad decisions to illustrate a point: Everyday, we have many opportunities to make decisions that will impact our health (hence the blog title, Your Health At The Crossroads). And most of those times, you have at least two choices. To go even further, usually one of those choices obviously isn’t so good, while the other choice usually stands out a bit as a better one.
It’s hard to resist the drive-thru to get a quick breakfast that’s much more appealing than the seemingly plain, healthy choices. It’s hard to resist that candy container when it’s always stocked, and you see it multiple times a day when you’re headed to your desk space. But check this out…it’s not impossible. Yeah I know, it is really, really tempting. One thing I’ve realized more as I get older though, is that if we learn to take a couple of steps back at that crossroad, and look at the choices for what they are instead of making decisions based essentially on temptation-based desire, the decision really isn’t that hard.
This is something I have not mastered, but I believe I can say that I’m getting better at it. In the book of Deuteronomy, Moses challenges the Israelite people with godly admonishment to make good decisions. In verse 19 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy%2030:19&version=NIV), he encourages them in the midst of their choices to “Choose Life!” In a preceding verse (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy%2030:11&version=NIV), he says “what I am commanding you today is not too difficult…”, and this is how we should understand our health decisions. They really aren’t that hard.
When you reach the crossroads of deciding what you’ll eat, or of deciding whether or not you will get more active like you know you need to, don’t think with your feelings. Take a step back, look at your decisions for what they really are, and choose life.