Monday, March 23, 2009

Day 23- $1 a day

Naturally since I tightened up my rules yesterday, today at work there were “brownie bites” sitting 10 feet from my desk all afternoon. I wanted to stuff about four of those in my face like a summer camper playing “chubby bunny”. My favorite author, Frederick Buechner wrote this:

“A glutton is one who raids the icebox for a cure for spiritual malnutrition.”

We don’t use the word “glutton” anymore, probably because we shun words that seem to make a judgment. Thus, we call people “big-boned” or “full-figured”. But the definition of a glutton is “one that eats to excess” so in that case approximately 30% of Americans are gluttons. I’m a glutton. And at the end of this experiment I will need to reconcile two facts:
1) There are people going hungry in the world
2) I eat to excess.

That’s right, I’m going there. And you may think it sounds harsh, but this is what is on my mind tonight. The good news is that if I flip Buechner’s statement there is a hint of a promise that if I can just access what I am hungering for spiritually, then the lure of the icebox is not so strong.


  1. just a question from your change in rules, now you know I'm not up on the bible stuff, but you're telling me that if you were on the beach and the fishes and loaves were given out until all had their fill you would turn down food given willingly just because?? think about the gift that is pure of heart....

  2. Yes, you've got me there. A good example of what you are saying is- last night my friend Caroline gave me some baklava she had lovingly made, and I wasn't about to disappoint her by turning down her gift. So you are right. Thanks for pointing out that accepting gifts of food honors the giver...

  3. well, you went there. we live in a "super size" country, the land of plenty . . . so its no wonder many of us eat in excess, buy in excess, take more than is actually needed. your experiment has made me so much more mindful of what i already have and how to be grateful with that. thanks for going there.

  4. Sometimes I think the givers are even gluttonous. Example: (especially with family) I go to dinner and there is dessert in large quantities, now this would be ok if I could just have a small portion. But no, it follows that I need to take the remaining home with me, usually because the cook doesn't want to keep it for him/herself so they won't be a "glutton", but somehow it's ok for me to be...since it's a gift. Oh the irony.

  5. You're right, Chris. Sometimes the line gets a little fuzzy between generosity and "gluttonous giving".