I've been off of sugar for 3 weeks now.
This is now very easy. I am no longer craving cake on a nightly basis. But it wasn't at first..at all!
I suppose you could call it a sugar fast, even though I didn't start this because of a spiritual conviction. Shortly after starting the sugar freeness, I began to see some spiritual parallels. Thank you God for teaching me even though I am most times a poor student! De-cluttering my life, my diet, my habits of things that don't matter, definitely leaves me reflecting on the things that do matter and not brownies and cakes and pies....
So while being on a no sugar diet seems like a fad fast. It's really showing me what a mentally, emotionally and spirituality focused lifestyle is all about. And it's refreshing. Hard but refreshing.
So here are some random things that being sugar free has brought to my attention.
The more I get the more I crave.
Hello! It's addicting. I never ate like a whole cake a day or anything.
It was a piece of chocolate here, and a slice of bread there (who knew that EVERYTHING has sugar in it!?). But it was in most of the food I was consuming. So while I thought I was doing well by not having a sweet tooth, I was proved wrong when on the first few days of my "detox" I felt like I was coming off of crack (probably not similar but I am trying to make a point here)
Which do I crave more? Jesus or sugar?
Oh geeze. This one was like a light bulb going off above my head.
When I am without Jesus for a few days, what happens? Do I even notice?
And the answer is -YES. But do I crave him? I want to!
The more I have of him, the more I crave. He's definitely better than a piece of double chocolate cake with fudgey icing.
The Psalmist demonstrated this perfectly!
As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? Psalm 41:1-2
Getting back to the basics
Less sugar= less processed, unoriginal, watered down, unhealthy food.I'm trying to get back to food the way God made it. Pure.
Letting go of additives= more creativity
Do you know how much stuff has sugar in it? Bread, cereal, even the whole grain kinds, anything prepackaged. So needless to say I am having to get pretty creative with the way I do my sweet portions.
Anyway. The spiritual application here: let go of the processed parts of your time with God. The overworked, spiritually leached ingredients: preconceived notions, doubt, lip service, obligations. Be real with him. Express your need for more of him and he will fill you up to overflowing with the good stuff. And if you are like me at all, you may feel that your time with him is sometimes lacking, needing a little sweetening up. I've changed up my "routine" and am finding new and creative ways to worship privately, learn more about him, and communicate with him. Get creative. He doesn't mind.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Matthew 5:8
Beware of the fake stuff!
Wow. Fake sugar is so much worse for you than real sugar. Not many people accept that though and while they (me) eat it and eat it, thinking it's a great substitute for the real thing and that they are avoiding all of the negative consequences of sugar but are, all the while, stuffing poison into their bodies.
Beware of fake Jesus! How many times have I tried to do things my way, the artificial way, thinking I could have my cake and eat it too? Thinking God's plan was the hard way, the way that would cause me to suffer more or be at a loss in the end only to find out that I was so very wrong. Finding things of this world that only temporary relieve my craving but never satisfy and only leave me wanting more of the wrong stuff, the fake stuff. It's so bad for me. I am learning to take time and be sure of God's voice. Understand his plan. Find a way to get to his will even if it isn't easy or convenient. It's so much more fulfilling though when I submit and am only consuming what he intended for me to consume spiritually.
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us
So I intent to keep running this race. I don't really know if there's a finish line in sight but I am thankful that a God -inspired suggestion from my chiropractor has brought some depth and some perspective into my spiritual life. I am grateful that God continues to work in the midst of my mess and reveal himself in awesome ways. Even if they are sugar-free ;)