So, I’m sitting at this Italian restaurant staring at this casserole sized portion of Lasagna the waiter just put in front of me. It’s enough food to feed three to four people, in my estimation. I glance around the dining room and see others receiving humongous portions of food too. Some of the customer’s eyes get super wide with amazement just like mine did, and others are perfectly delighted to have so much food to eat.
I repeat to myself, “I’m a spiritually satisfied man who doesn’t need to eat all this food.” And I find peace about the gigantic serving fully confident ahead of time that I will not eat more than I need.
But while enjoying my meal, I start to think about other kinds of “servings” offered up in life that we need to be equally alert to and not indulge in just because someone gives it to us, similar to the waiter plunking too much food in front of me.
For example, when a doctor dishes up a foreboding health report to a patient, or the media dishes up reasons to fear the flu coming to town, or political pundits spew out dire prophecies and predictions that get their constituencies riled up in anger and resentment, or unseen mental forces cast a pale of haziness or depression over individual or collective thought. And on and on….
The same rule applies, I affirmed, that I use to keep gluttony at bay at the table, “Just because it’s served doesn’t mean it has to be taken in.”
In the same way that I refuse to take in the aggressive suggestion of “All this food is here for you to eat,” I have to make conscious decisions to not take in other “dishes” that agents of society serve up that are not in my best interest to accept, like the dire prediction, the fear-based reasoning, and dark impressions of thought.
The dire medical prediction must be instantly rebutted, rebuked and adamantly put off. Fear of contagion, likewise. And heated political debates pouring over the airwaves need to be tempered with open mindedness, compassion, forgiveness, consideration and respect.
Society does not always serve us what is in our best interest to receive. To defend oneself from harm and preserve health and well being, a spiritual defense needs to be in place that wards off the aggressive suggestions that would pull our thinking in a harmful direction.
Jesus Christ taught, “Watch!” …this is getting too long, so more tomorrow…