Let me tell you a funny story about my daughter. (Sorry, Elizabeth. This one is just too good to keep to myself.) Elizabeth, like her mother before her, has a sweet tooth. However, she also has great self-control. Furthermore, to bolster that self-control, she has developed certain habits that help her stick to her plans. For example, she chews gum when she is baking. ‘Makes it easier to stay away from all the crispy bits and broken pieces that seem to scream, “Go ahead. Make your day. Why would you let me go to waste?” But here is my favorite habit: She salts her dessert.
One night years ago, Steve and Elizabeth went on their annual holiday season father-daughter date. This time they went to a dinner theater where a multi-course meal was served between the acts of a musical revue. When it came time for dessert, Steve ordered chocolate cake, and Elizabeth chose cheesecake. As the next act started, they began to enjoy their treats. When Elizabeth felt she had had enough, she doused the remains in table salt, knowing that would end any temptation to keep on nibbling.
You can probably guess what happened next. Steve, who had been watching the entertainers the entire time, saw that his daughter was no longer eating her delectable dessert and reached for a forkful. It was already in his mouth before she could say, “No, Dad, wait, I…” That was the last time Steve ever reached for anything on Elizabeth’s plate without asking first.
Sometimes now I salt my dessert. It’s a quirky habit, but it helps me follow through on my own conviction to moderate my consumption of rich goodies. I also waited long past the rest of the world to get a microwave, because there was a time when I knew it would just make junky micro-treats too accessible to me. And we don’t have cable because I’d spend too much time on mind-numbing videos. (I have a strong inner couch potato.) A daily newspaper would hook me into far too many fear-inducing dramas, which could play out in my imagination all day long.
Those are my “salts.” Yours may be quite different. But all of us are called to “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles” us (Hebrews 12:1a). If you have found creative ways to make obedient living easier, won’t you share them in the comments section?
Have a great week!