~ Written by Melissa Kreis
Honey Nut Cheerios. Banned from breakfast on school days during my childhood because of its sugary content, Honey Nut Cheerios was a favorite tasty treat saved for weekends. During college and beyond, however, I began to break this sacred rule of no sugary cereals on a school day.
That is, until one fateful morning…
I poured a bowl of my favorite cereal and grabbed the milk. But just before pouring, I noticed movement through the tiny delectable O’s: an ant. I used my spoon to push around a few Cheerios and discovered to my utter dismay that my bowl was, quite literally, crawling with ants! I fished through the bowl, bent on a mission to rescue as many Cheerios as possible. One at a time I pulled out each sweet morsel, and then destroyed the ants with my trusty ant spray…
No! Of course I didn’t do that with my ruined breakfast!! Disgusted that I almost ate more protein than I had bargained for, I tossed my spoiled breakfast outside on the compost pile. After that I scrounged around for something else to fill my grumbling tummy.
But isn’t that what we do with our sin sometimes? For a little while, sin tastes sweet like my precious Honey Nut Cheerios. But then we start to see the little ants, the consequences of our sin. We see how sin damages ourselves or others or our relationship with God. However, instead of throwing out our sin, we sometimes try to salvage it. We make excuses.
“How can something this fun really be harmful? This isn’t really that bad. Nobody will find out.”
When we are tempted to sin, let’s remember the image of a bowl of cereal crawling with ants. Let’s throw our sin far away, and then let’s carry out the most important part: Return to the One who can fill our hungry tummies with satisfying, living bread:
“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst’” (John 15:35).
Our Lord does not call us to turn from our sin because he wants to deprive us of some sweet forbidden fruit; he beckons us to partake of a rich, sustaining feast. Let us seek the One who alone who can satisfy, so we are tempted no longer by a sweet but unwholesome breakfast.