Empty Calories

Empty Calories

Both faith and testimony are living things that require nurture and care or else they will decline and eventually fade away. We could no more sustain our bodies by intermittently eating or drinking than we can sustain our faith and testimony with sporadic spiritual nourishment. Yet frequently we do so  through laziness, distraction, pre-occupation or being over-committed. 

I recently got sucked into a 5-book, 3800 page series on Genghis Kahn. It’s not exactly the kind of stuff that fortifies faith, but very interesting none-the-less.  For a couple of weeks, I read little else. I have also enjoyed reading blogs full of insight and commentary by clever members of the church. But once again, I’ve noticed that this material doesn’t always leave me embiggened or inspired. 

There is merit in being aware of, and enriched by the world we live in. I’m a big advocate of being well-read. But recently it dawned on me that although historical fiction and the witty commentary from the bloggernacle is indeed tasty, it has limited nutritional value from a spiritual perspective. You simply can’t consume enough of it to be spiritually nourished. Paul’s description of people that were “ever learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth (2 Timothy 3:7)” somehow seems relevant in this regard.

By contrast, I can’t remember an occasion when I wasn’t inspired and uplifted by the scriptures or a General Conference talk.  Accordingly, I set Genghis down and picked up the scriptures and noticed an immediate difference in how I felt. I also went through the ‘blog’s I’m following’ list and deleted a bunch of stuff.  My snark coefficient is high enough as it is. I found a lot of it was simply bringing me down, and adding no nutritional value–spiritually speaking.  

Let’s face it:  junk food is in no danger of going extinct in both a literal and metaphoric way. I just need to use a little more moderation in how much I consume in one setting.  Genghis Khan and his exploits will still be there tomorrow or even next week.

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