270. It is the number of calories in a Dunkin’ Donuts© jelly doughnut. I know this because my coffee provider of choice is required to post the calorie count of each item on their menus. I know this because I have had occasion to indulge in a mid-afternoon snack only to be blind-sided by the knowledge that a couple of jelly doughnuts has a greater caloric content than any meal a healthy man of my size should consume (let alone a 5-minute indulgence into joys of circular pastries). Plus, a quick scan of the shelves reveals that the jelly doughnut is some of the lighter fare offered. My favorite – the blueberry cake doughnut – is about 400 calories. Now that I know, I’ve begun changing my actions and eating only one doughnut as a snack.
This dose of reality made me wonder: if I knew the full cost of my other indulgences, would I engage in them less frequently? If I saw on a crawl at the bottom of the television screen that every 23 minutes of the “Bachelorette” killed 3 brain cells (N.B.: there is no scientific proof that this is true, just anecdotal evidence), would I reduce my consumption of these sorts of programs? If I was handed a list of the damages careless words will cause to others, would I be more conscious of what I say to those with whom I interact? Life would be quite different if I were instantly aware of the consequences of every unhealthy action in which I engage.
“The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception.” Proverbs 14:8 (NIV)
There is wisdom in knowing, whether it is written on a menu board or on the tablet of the heart, what is profitable and what is detrimental. I shouldn’t really need a number under a doughnut to know that an apple is a better choice. I shouldn’t need a dimple in the sofa cushion to serve as a reminder that I ought to exercise more than my eyeballs. If we have the Spirit of God (also known as the Spirit of Truth and the Counselor) because we know Jesus as Lord and Savior, we also have the silent whisperings He gives to guide us in wholeness and health, for our well-being and for the well-being of those around us.
So, with the help of the Holy Spirit I am trying to see the “calorie count” in everything now. I am seeking to count the costs for not only gluttony and sloth, but also for pride, wrath, lust, greed and envy. When I cannot see the dangers I may be bringing upon myself or others, I know that trusting in the Spirit’s leading will serve me well. I am grateful that the Lord does not leave us to our own devices in navigating around the therapeutic and the treacherous things of life; He helps us by ordering our steps.
Now, if someone could just discover a recipe for the healthy doughnut; for that, too, I would be grateful.