Do you want a Big Mac life or a Gourmet life
Junk food is great when you are in a hurry, also junk food is designed to give us a feel good kick. In a Big Mac meal there is loads of fat, loads of sugar and loads of salt. We have evolved to crave these calorie dense foods. If you are hungry and get a Big Mac you eat it really quick and its great, you get a kick from the sugar rush and chemicals are released in your brain making you feel great. But as we know half an hour later, you are hungry again and guts feel a bit yuk. All junk food is designed to give us that kick and then later we feel yuk. A Big Mac is easy, no effort required at all, we get the kick of yum and then the trough of yuk.
Preparing a gourmet meal to share is stressful. It takes ages, loads of effort and a bit of expense. You don’t always get that instant kick either. But you do have a joyful time, sharing the meal prepared with others.
This is something we are all familiar with. Day in day out we are bombarded with buy me messages. Promising to give us that instant kick of pleasure, but does any of it satisfy? I recently saw a documentary called the Men Who Made us Spend. In this film it detailed how consumers like us are conditioned from birth to seek out that instant kick, provided by various products. The end of the three part documentary was particularly chilling as the presenter said, ‘No matter what you buy we will never be satisfied, which just makes us buy more.’
You may have noticed that the meditation for this session is the same as that for session two on unity. That is deliberate as this meditation is at the heart of the Christian message. When we do the examine we notice little things that give us deep joy within. We also notice that none of these cost much money, but they sometimes cost us effort. We notice that times of great joy are often when we are looking outside ourselves and our needs to that of others.
The world is offering us a Big Mac the icon of self gratification. What we all know deep down is the despair that the Big Mac world will bring to us. There is surface pleasure in a Big Mac, but is there any joy? God through the Holy Spirit offers us a chance to cook a gourmet meal and share it. God offers us deep joy, the gift of the Holy Spirit. But like Mary do we say yes?
If we do the examine regularly, if we say yes to God then deep joy will come. Deep inside we respond to these gifts if we notice them. Like Jesus’ resurrection can we recognise the wonder right in front of us? Throughout this course we have looked at all the gifts that God is giving us. In this last part we focus on our response, to them all.
In short when we do the examine we remember that joy that we feel in God, we also remember the desolation when we turn from him. The meditation allows us to see the world more clearly, to see the choices that we all have. If we can say yes to God more often we will live in a more joyful way. If enough of us do this then we can bring heaven to earth.
For this Visualisation:
Put the meditation into action. Ask yourself some simple yet difficult questions.
1: What are the three occasions when you felt most joyful over the last week.
2: Is there a theme that links these together?
3: What changes to you want to make to your life to say yes to God and live more joyfully?
4: What practical steps can you take to make these changes a reality?
Jump Back to the Session Six Homepage