Mac And Cheese And A Coke
Posted by Erin Roberson, June 13, 2023
Not long ago, we were traveling to see our son in another state. We stopped at a gas station for a quick bathroom break. As I sat in the car waiting for us to get on the road again, I couldn’t help but notice a large poster in the window of the gas station..."Mac and Cheese and a Coke, $3.99".
What a deal! It looked so yummy! I could imagine the gooey creaminess of the mac and cheese and the refreshing taste of the Coke. But then I started thinking. That meal might fill my belly, but would it provide any health benefits (beyond carbs and calories)?
Jesus warned against focusing on just “filling our stomachs” in John 6:26. Instead, Jesus came to fill our lives with the very presence of God. Jesus taught that He is the source of “food that endures (John 6:27).” Isn’t it interesting that Jesus spoke these words shortly after he had filled thousands of people’s bellies with 5 small barley loaves and 2 small fish? Jesus also described himself as “water that wells up to eternal life (John 4:14).” He said these words to the Samaritan woman who had been unable to find satisfaction through multiple marriages.
What am I doing that “satisfies” but provides little value? Junk food is one, but what else? What about the following time-fillers? Perhaps it’s the amount of time I spend on social media. Maybe it’s forms of entertainment that bring temporary satisfaction but have no lasting benefits. (I finally had to delete my favorite game app from my phone because I was drawn to it every free minute!)
There may be addictions that bring a temporary feeling of happiness but quickly leave only emptiness.
Gossip may seem harmless at first, but it damages relationships and negatively impacts a person’s reputation. What if I replace the “junk food” activities in my life with things that add value to myself and others? Here are a few possibilities:
1. Celebrate with others by sending notes of congratulations and encouragement.
2. Nurture my relationship with God by spending time in His Word, talking to Him through prayer, and listening to His voice.
3. Invite a friend to have a cup of coffee or reach out to someone who is hurting.
4. Serve God and others with my time by noticing a need and meeting it.
What if I choose to focus my attention based on scripture rather than the empty, time-consuming entertainment offered by the world? Paul wrote in Philippians 4:8, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.”
I can’t think of any better way to spend my time than “eating” and “drinking” everything God wants to pour into my life and letting His work in me overflow into the lives of others. Do I always live up to this lofty goal? No way! That’s a lot to think about after seeing an advertisement for a great deal on Mac and Cheese and a Coke, but that’s the way God works sometimes. He uses the ordinary things around us to draw us to His Truth!
Here’s a song that reminds us to allow God to fill our cups! Click here to listen to "Fill My Cup" by Andrew Ripp.
Erin Roberson is a wife and mother of two wonderful grown boys. She is a lifelong educator who loves learning and teaching others. She believes our primary focus should be on our relationship with God, learning who God is, who God says we are, and how God wants us to live.