"Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey…" - Exodus 33:3
Recently I posted on my Facebook page that I was having trouble controlling the amount of sugar I eat. "Every day is peaks of energy followed by crashes which send me looking for more sugar," I wrote. "Every day, I am eating more and more sugar in order to get the same results that earlier just a tiny bit offered." I concluded the post by suggesting that not eating any sugar at all might be the only solution for me.
The response was a loving cavalcade of support and advice. I got a call from someone I haven't heard from in years suggesting one sugar cessation program and a text (from someone I thought was avoiding me) suggesting another. One friend sent inspiring photos and another gave advice about other foods it's a good practice to avoid.
Was it sugar in particular that spurred this abundant response or was it gluttony in general? Maybe it was both of these, since profligate consumption of sugar (or porn or painkillers or shopping or your-drug-of-choice-here) can be a potent symbol of the human impulse to excess.
And yet Scarcity cries loudly from both inside and out. And so our response to Divine abundance is too often to grab more than we need, to overconsume to the point of sickness.
Upheld by the support of others, just for today, I'm taking God's promised abundance to heart. Today, I will stop and notice. Today, I will see the milk and honey flowing in every direction. Today, I will eat of it until I am satisfied. Until I am satisfied and no more.
Holy One, satisfy us with your abundant grace. Amen.
Jennifer Brownell is the Pastor of First Congregational Church of Vancouver, Washington, and the author of Swim, Ride, Run, Breathe: How I Lost a Triathlon and Caught My Breath, her inspiring memoir.