Saturday, October 16, 2010

Krispy Kreme Cheeseburgers and Deep-Fried Oreos

It's that time of year again. The air is crisp and cool, the skies are clear and blue, and it's time for the State Fair! Each year vendors creatively invent some new combination of food so tasty and yet so incredibly UN-healthy, it should be illegal. This year's concoction - The Krispy Kreme Cheeseburger. Imagine a Hardee's humongous burger - served on a Krispy Kreme donut instead of a bun. Estimated calories = more than the daily recommended amount for a teenage jock for a week!

Do you ever wonder why we do this? We know what is best for us, what is healthy and good for our bodies - and yet we make a conscious choice not only to avoid those things, but to indulge in things that we know are bad for us. We even seek after new and creative ways to hurt ourselves - new recreational drugs, new sports with even more risk, new financial schemes likely to ruin us.

I read recently the tragic story of two students at NC State University who were found dead on the fire escape outside their apartment. According to news reports, they died from taking a type of plant food that is the latest 'craze' among young people looking to get high. Last year, it was a young man who hung himself playing a 'game' designed to make him light-headed by cutting off his oxygen. Almost weekly there are stories of young people dying in car accidents caused by trying to get too close to the edge - drinking and driving, racing their friends, speeding on winding country roads.

In First Corinthians 6, Paul tells us, "Everything is permissible for me - but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me - but I will not be mastered by anything." We have amazing freedom in Christ; we are not bound by the law. Our salvation is not about keeping the law, fortunately, because we human beings have demonstrated quite well that we are not capable of keeping God's standards of holiness. No, our salvation is based in trusting Christ's sacrifice on our behalf and that alone.

Still, we must not let our freedom lead to self-destruction. God has given us a brain and the intellect to identify likely consequences for behavior and we should exercise that ability, recognize the road-signs and turn back before it's too late. Before we've ruined our health, crashed our car, or destroyed our credit. Recent studies indicate that this ability to predict the consequences of our actions and make rational decisions in order to avoid those consequences may not develop in our brains until age twenty-five. I would argue that in some of us it may be much later!

I'm not saying you can't enjoy a Krispy Kreme Cheeseburger at the fair or try bungee-jumping. Just think about the end result of a life spent seeking the next greatest thrill. Think about the consequences and what you'll have to show for it. And choose what is beneficial. Do not allow yourself to be mastered by the quest for one more thrill.