A United Methodist Pastor's Theological Reflections

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory (nikos) through our Lord Jesus Christ." - I Corinthians 15:57

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Dave's Deep Thoughts

Here's Pastor Dave McDowell's weekly devotional that he sends out to members of his church. Dave is my brother and serves as the Music Minister at Stewartstown UMC in PA.

I think I will sue my mother.
Let's call it child abuse.

Many see her as this kind, loving woman.
But I now know better.

Yesterday was Fastnacht Day.
For those of you not of German heritage,
it means night before the fast.
The day just prior to the beginning of Lent

A time to enjoy some final tasty treats
before the 40 days of Lent leading up to Easter.

The memories of childhood began to flood back.

As a child,
this seemingly sensible, caring woman
would bring home these doughy pastries called fastnachts,
on the day before Ash Wednesday.
She would then place them on the kitchen table.
Then she would crouch and watch,
like a cat waiting for the mice to take the bait.

We just thought fastnachts were just funny looking donuts.
Little did we know that they were the kiss of death.

As I came to work this past Monday,
I was overwhelmed immediately by the smell of grease.

As I entered the building,
I realized that someone was making fastnachts
in anticipation of Fat Tuesday.
The stench was overwhelming.

You know a kitchen has become a haz mat site
when the bakers are wearing face masks
in order to breathe though the haze of grease.

You know grandma's fruitcake
has been trumped,
when you see a potato based dough ball
being dumped into boiling lard.

I went on the internet and did a little research on these bad boys.
The numbers horrified me.

For each one of those fastnachts that slips down your throat,
add 1215 calories.
For those of you who shriek at the sight of a gravy boat,
tack on 33.5 grams of fat.
For those watching sodium intake,
ring up 883 mg of sodium as you feel your blood vessels constrict.
And for you south beach carb watchers,
meet your worst nightmare
as you calculate in 185 grams of carbs in just a few bites.
Do not pass go.....do not collect $200.......just go directly to the fat farm.
It ain't called Fat Tuesday for nothing.

You could eat 2 of your favorite fast food biggie burgers with all the toppings
as an equivalent march to death.
And remember fettuccine alfredo, the heart attack on a plate????
You might as well call it Lean Cuisine compared to these death balls.

Eve could have had twenty of those forbidden apples before she began to approach the calorie count of one fastnacht.

To work off the effects of this sugary pill of dough,
try bicycling at 12 mph for 178 minutes,
or maybe you have 166 spare minutes to walk at 4 mph,
or just take a 2.5 hour lunch break and
substitute it with 146 minutes of swimming at 50 yards a minute.

Back to my mother.
This is the mother who thought I should spend winter afternoons
on the couch eating snacks and watching movies,
because she thought that skiing
might be too dangerous a hobby.

This is the mother
who thought I might catch a cold because my winter jacket wasn't heavy enough,
after I had slept the night before in an UNHEATED bedroom.

Call me crazy,
but this woman who could easily pass for "Mother of the Year"
has it out for me, as she says with a motherly smile,
"Have another fastnacht"

There are things in life that just look good,
that smell good,
that just taste so good.
Food is among them, but there are many other things that tempt us.

And sometimes, they seem to come from the safest sources.
Eve thought so,
and often, so do we
if we are not listening to the Father
who truly wishes the best for us.

The next time my mom comes around with a plate of those fastnachts,
I think I'll just say, "Thanks but no thanks"
and go climb Mount Everest instead.

"For I know the plans that I have for you,
declares the Lord, plans for your welfare
and not for calamity,
to give you a future and a hope. "

- Jeremiah 29:11

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