I haven't eaten a restaurant meal in almost three weeks. This may not sound like a big deal to most people, but for our family it is a very big deal. I don't know when we became these people who eat out or drive thru 4+ times per week...but we are. We have become enslaved to our lifestyle of immediate gratification.
"I'm hungry, Mom."
I think for a minute about going home for PB&J, but decide I'd really rather keep shopping, so I opt for McDonald's - yet again - instead. My children probably eat three hamburgers a week. Quite possibly...at least three a week.
And when it's not a matter of sheer convenience, it's a matter of socializing. Everyone's got to eat, so let's go grab a bite.
But... We've given up eating out. For 100 days.
It's part of a challenge at our church. A time of sacrifice - of challenging our lifestyle - of finding ourselves in a position of discomfort and inconvenience, so that we might remember those who regularly go without as they live in poverty and often with illnesses.
For the first two weeks, it was pretty easy for me. I'm not a huge eater - cereal will do for most meals - but I'm getting hungry and sick of having to prepare three meals a day, clean it all up, grocery shop, meal plan, etc. It is amazing just how quick and easy it is to find satisfaction in our environment. And dissatisfaction when one is "forced" to reach into her refrigerator for food rather than have someone place an over-priced plate on the table in front of her at a restaurant.
It cannot believe just how spoiled.
As I've faced temptation these last few days to "just grab one meal out", I am reminded of those who don't have any option but to suffer through hunger pains, as grabbing food anywhere is not an option. This is really what these 100 days are all about - NOT coasting through having "sacrificed" something that has no value.
As I prepared dinner and cleaned my kitchen tonight, I thought about and prayed for starving people around the world. Those who have no home, let alone a kitchen and a pot of chili. Those who have significant health issues, yet no medical care. Those who have no earthly parents, but are loved abundantly by our heavenly father. Praise the Lord for that - for who He is, for how He loves, for how He saves, for how He redeems even the most tragic of situations.
It's amazing how something as simple as not consuming restaurant food has created a new focus in our lives.
Lord, as we go through these 100 days, show us how it's meant to shape the rest of our lives.
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me… Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” Matthew 25:35–36, 40