My friend Adam and I had agreed to a long overdue lunch date. When he picked me up in his new truck (new to him anyway), I gave him the choice of restaurants. “Anywhere in Nashville,” I said. Adam, a lover of foods – all kinds, got excited. “Golden Corral,” he all but shouted in the small cab of the truck. My heart – and my stomach – fell as we headed to the buffet. A human trough.
We walked in the buffet extravaganza. Everywhere I looked I saw steaming tables of foods. Fried and grilled chicken, roasted chicken and chicken in sauces. Fish dishes, potatoes, and rice. Salad bar, hibachi grill, desserts, and more. Never ending indigestion.
Don’t get me wrong. I have always liked buffets. The more food, the better. Add sauces and sugar toppings and I am in coma heaven. As a matter of fact, I was a compulsive over-eater for 30-plus years. Eating more than was humanly possible. My story was done on the 700 Club program on TV. I know how to eat and I know how to make choices. Good and bad.
Somewhere things changed. I loaded my plate up, starting with the salad. When I sat down to eat, after prayer, I looked around. On tables I saw plate after plate after plate. Of food eaten, and much of it to be thrown away. Plates to be refilled and sampled. And I lost my appetite. For more than eating lunch. I lost my hunger for buffets. Food enough to feed an army. Plates overflowing with meats, breads and sauces.
I watched Adam indulge and kept my thoughts to myself. Choices. I had choices. Did I want to be like the young lady over the short wall between our tables; surrounded by plates of pastas, chicken; complaining that they were out of catfish and “when are they going to bring it out?”
Or, was I finally going to make wise choices? Even at a buffet?
Life. It’s a buffet. Of things to do, places to spend money, ‘stuff’ to fill our houses, lives and hearts. If we let it. Choices. The buffet table of life.
How many decisions do we have to make each day? Probably hundreds. Starting with the moment the alarm goes off and you choose to jump out of bed or hit the snooze alarm…again and again. Then we decide what to eat, to wear, and how soon to leave for work.
It may seem like many of our daily choices are not that significant; they really do matter. “Should I meet with Sara today? I have an article to write, but I have not seen her for eons.”
“If I eat this piece of cake, or even finish the whole thing, I can start my diet tomorrow and this will not be a temptation.”
“Do I answer this call? Text? Look at facebook? Instagram? Make lunch or pick up fast food?”
Every time we say “Yes” to one thing, we say “No” to something else. You hit snooze and you choose to rush to get ready on time. You order a hamburger and French fries, and you choose to upset your food budget and your waistline. Not to mention the indigestion! You agree to meet your depressed friend on a Friday after work, and your choice is to be away from your kids who saw very little of you during the work week and are hungry to feel loved.
Choices. I believe it is our decisions, not our circumstances, that determine the quality of our lives. Everything that happens in your life began with a decision. The good, the bad, the ugly.
What do you want your life to look like? Decide what kind of person you are committed to becoming. Be clear about what you want to be, what you want to do and have, and what your life will be like after you accomplish this. When you do this, you will find it easier to make decisions. Good decisions.
I walked out of Golden Corral with a firm resolve that I was never going to cross the threshold of that doorway again. That choice will help my clothes fit better, allow my pocketbook to stay filled, keep indigestion at bay, and it will prevent me from looking around and judging the people who are eating like animals. Like I do when I am there.
Remember: everything is a choice. You are free to make whatever choice you want, but you are not free from the consequences of the choice.
Life is a buffet. Where will you indulge?