There is a particular holiday treat at Starbucks this time of year, and it is a great way to get in 500 calories if that’s what you’re looking to do. The Pumpkin Scone provides nearly one-quarter of all your daily required calories in one fell swoop. Convenient, relatively cheap, and laden with sugary sweetness; not many would argue with that. One calorie isn’t the same as another however.
This whole topic came up one day as we were preparing a salad for lunch. Because of Amy’s CrossFit journey, we’re big into tracking the macros of each meal. For whatever reason, one of us, without having ever eaten one, remembered the calorie count of a Starbucks Pumpkin Scone. We remembered because this particular day, with this particular salad, we were shocked to find out that it didn’t even pack the caloric punch of this single baked good.
All Calories Are Not Created Equal
The salad you see below is the exact salad I’m referring to. I took a picture knowing I’d write this exact post. This salad was so hearty I could barely finish it. Hard boiled eggs, fresh local greens, beets, avocado, onion, cheese, salmon, and several other ingredients. How many calories? 489
What astonished us the most, was the fact that technically a scone had more energy (calories) than this salad. How can two things be so similar when it comes to calories yet so different when you step back and look at the bigger picture of complete nutrition. Which do you think packs the better nutritional punch?
Scones, Salads, and God
I know, with utmost confidence, that after consuming a Pumpkin Scone I’ll just want another one ten minutes afterwards. How? For purely research purposes only (wink) I bought one several weeks later while meeting a friend for coffee. And yes, I wanted another one even though I knew it was a sorry excuse to blow 500 calories on.
Why does something so lacking in complete nutrition hold such powerful sway over our appetites? I bet you could eat five of those in a day and still want more. So what does this have to do with God? I’m glad you asked.
This morning I wrapped up my reading through Ezra-Nehemiah and was left utterly dumbfounded. I was so angry with the Israelites who kept running right back into their wicked ways time and time again, even after all God had done for them. Then I was angry with humanity for our constant pursuit to fill this massive void in our lives with everything from Netflix binge watching and Amazon purchases to hipster coffee shops and baked goods. Then I was angry with myself for being no different than the rest.
Only He Can Satisfy
God was stirring my heart, and through this processing of my feelings I sat and chatted with Him. I posed a question, “God, why do we keep filling our lives with things that only provide short bursts of satisfaction, only to run to the next and the next and the next?” His response? “Because you’re not filling it with Me.”
Aim at heaven and you will get Earth thrown in. Aim at Earth and you get neither.C. S. Lewis
It was a beautiful moment of being reminded by our Father something we’ve already known for awhile. He told me that until we fill our lives with Him first, there will always be a God-sized void that all the things in the universe could never fill. Once we’re completely filled with His goodness, His love, and His provision, there isn’t room for anything else.
As if to drive the point home, I finished my morning by watching The Bible Project’s overview of Ezra-Nehemiah and at the very end they address the heart of the matter, we need a change of heart. No amount of legislation, no amount of doctrine, no amount of this or that will ever get us to stop reaching for the proverbial scone whose satisfaction is short lived and whose nutritional value is awful.
That scone, if you haven’t guessed by now, is a counterfeit to good nutrition. It’s tasty, it hits all the pleasure centers of the brain, and it fills your stomach. I don’t think anyone would argue with the fact that it wouldn’t be something, if it were the only thing you could eat, that would sustain a healthy body. The salad on the other hand probably would.
In life, there is an endless supply of scone-like activities and beliefs one could forever feast on and never be satisfied. We see it all the time. Money that never seems to fix the issue, a career that leaves you unfulfilled, the latest book or movie that distracts you only as long as you’re reading or watching it, identifying with or supporting the latest niche cause of the month. What does it look like to plug into something wholesome and truly satisfying? Something that doesn’t leave us longing for more?
Inviting God into our lives, into our heart, doesn’t have to mean we don’t get to enjoy sweet baked goods or a good movie anymore. It’s quite the opposite. C. S. Lewis once said “Aim at heaven and you will get Earth thrown in. Aim at Earth and you get neither.” When we run after God whole-heartedly, we get everything else thrown in.
The only one who can satisfy the human heart is the one who made it.Author Unknown
Where is it you are looking to find satisfaction? Are you looking at something other than the True source?
Will you let Him capture your attention today? What journey does He want to take you on? Where is it that God wants to meet you in this season?
Do you believe God truly desires to be your source? God’s hand is full of blessings that truly satisfy. Stand on the truth of His word.
We pray that ungodly mindsets would be broken today.