For years, our friends bought calendars, boy scout light bulbs and popcorn, school music program candy bars, and any number of other tempting and whimsical things from our children and grandchildren when they were fundraising. Girl Scout cookies are my Kryptonite. They have been since I sold them myself back in… well, never mind about that. The point is, I’ve loved them for years. And when someone else’s child is selling them, I always tell myself I’m “paying it forward” by helping that little angel reach a goal.
Of course, the cookies have never been good for me. In fact, I seem to remember that until very recent years they contained trans fats, and it’s certainly no secret that they contain their share of calories. In past posts, I’ve shared that my husband and I have been working to improve our diets and our health in general. We strive to eat anti-inflammatory foods, and have cut way back on any wheat, dairy, or processed sugars.
Still, when a co-worker approached my beloved, asking if he would buy a box of cookies to benefit his daughter’s Girl Scout troop, my hubby overflowed with generosity. Bless his philanthropic little heart, he bought four boxes and brought them home. They went right into our freezer. In years past, we’ve occasionally each had a couple of cookies with tea at night until the bounty was gone.
But this year, the cookies came home on Ash Wednesday. Hmmph.
We find ourselves again in the Lenten season. I was raised in the Presbyterian church, and this season was always a special time of study, setting aside extra offerings for those in need, and an emphasis on spirituality and preparation for the celebration of Easter Sunday. Following this tradition, as an adult I have long used a special daily devotional book that I work through each Lent. Over the years, I have made notations in the margins of my thoughts, or of hymns or scriptures that come to mind during the reading. It never ceases to amaze me, but each year something different touches or occurs to me as I go through the booklet.
Yesterday’s message was on letting go of our own wishes and desires, and following God’s will rather than our own. Today’s message is on not trying to control everything, and being willing to hand everything over to God. This has always been a struggle for me. Remembering to seek, find, and follow God’s will in my daily life. I generally do it for the big things, but sometimes the small day-to-day things get away from me.
Now mint chocolate cookies may not seem like much, but here’s the thing. I know I should stay away from them at any time. They’re full of wheat gluten, processed sugar, and any number of other inflammatory ingredients that will worsen my arthritis and add to my waistline and tummy troubles. If I don’t resist breaking into the cookies during Lent, when I’m specifically meditating on temptation and sacrifice, what does that say about me?
OK, not a pretty picture. So the cookies are still in the freezer, and there they’ll stay, at least until Easter. And when I open the freezer each day, they will be a reminder that the instant gratification of my every dietary whim is seriously not God’s plan for me.
And I also know that if I open my heart daily, I will find the things – in every area of my life – that are.
This post was written in response to the weekly Travel Theme challenge by Ailsa of WheresMyBackpack: Tempting. To see other bloggers’ tempting responses and get more info on these challenges, just click on the link!
To see my meditation on Lent from last year, click here: Faith of our Fathers - or Mothers - Why Lent?.