May 22, 2014

Binging at the Buffet

Do you like to go out to eat at “all you can eat buffets”? Those restaurants where customers can view the food and immediately select which dishes they wish to consume, and usually also can decide how much food they take. Buffets are very effective for serving large numbers of people at once.
Personally, I prefer a higher quality restaurant that focuses on slowing things down and has better food.
But, I like them because I love the "try a little bit of everything" style of eating. I like the idea of instantly seeing what is offered and being able to quickly sample whatever I want without having to order a large plate’s worth. If I don’t like something, I simply grab a clean plate and go back to the buffet to pick out something else.
Yet this past week, while going through the various stands with a group of co-workers, I found myself looking at how much I and those around me actually were eating (or at least putting on our plates). And I thought of “that person on the corner who holds the cardboard sign”.
You know who I am talking about; that person who stands at the corner all year long with a handwritten cardboard sign as he or she begs for money from motorists who can’t escape their grip when the light turns red…Those people….
And I stopped filling my plate (at least for a short moment) and pondered whether or not it was right to eat so much when so many have so little.
I know that there are many reasons for poverty and hunger and I’m not trying to guilt us into a different lifestyle. I’m not saying we shouldn’t eat out when we are able to do so or that at times we should or shouldn’t eat “too much”; who is to say what is “too much”?.
The Apostle Paul wrote to the Church in his letter to the Romans chapter 14;
Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him.” (v.3)
“He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks.” (v.6b)
“For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (v.17)
Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense.” (v.20)

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