I've been thinking a lot about Lot and his family. As it states in Genesis 13:12 ";...Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward ." As we know it did not turn out well for Lot's family in Sodom. In contrast the people of King Benjamin "...pitched their tents round about the temple, every man having his tent with the thereof towards the temple..." (Mosiah 2:6) King Benjamin's people took upon them the name of Christ and were fully converted to the ways of God.
All too often we walk away from our Sunday School classes securely believing that our "tent door" is pointed towards the temple. I know I have. For years, I thought my tent door was pointed towards the temple and the Gospel of our Lord and Savior. I also believe that most people that know me would walk into my house and believe that my tent door, the focus of my home, was pointed near the temple. However what went unnoticed for years even by myself was the huge picture window pointed towards "Sodom".
Let me back-track a little bit to explain. I have an auto-immune disease. Please don't ask me what specific one I have, nobody seems to know and really it doesn't matter. I have been dealing with it for about 20 years now. This causes me periods of joint inflammation and pain (think hammer smashing a joint level of pain). It has also caused some hormone issues and I believe my infertility problems. Lately, I have also been dealing with excessive fatigue, depression, and anxiety which is fairly common with those dealing with chronic pain.
So what does this have to do with my picture window towards Sodom? I promise, I'm getting to it. In the last few years, I have noticed that a lot of my symptoms are increased or worsened by different foods. You would think that any semi-intelligent person would just say, "hey this food is not good for me, I will stop eating it" and then just do that. But for me it hasn't been that easy. It has caused me to admit that I am an addict. I am a food addict. I'm not talking about the I-really-love-chocolate-so-I-always-say-I'm-a-chocoholic. I'm talking about I-can-feel-the-food-making-me-sicker-and-sicker-and-I-still-can't-stop-shoveling-it-in-my-face-addict.
I went to see a well known and respected naturopathic doctor who specializes in chronic pain conditions and he gave me a list of foods I needed to avoid for at least 6 months and then he uttered the words, "no cheating". I went home and cried because I knew I would fail. Instant panic and anxiety right there. I would shop for foods in my new plan and cry as soon as I got done shopping because I couldn't bring any of my comforting food friends home.
If you are still reading this and still wondering what this has anything to do with that picture window towards Sodom. I'm coming to it right now. King Benjamin tells us that the natural man is an enemy to God and unless I yield to the enticings of the Holy Spirit using the atonement to root out the natural man, than I am longing after Sodom. My food addiction is my Sodom. Food has always been there for me, it has helped me bond with others including my family, but it is also keeping me from being healthy and feeling the ultimate joy the atonement brings.
I now can relate to Lot's wife. She did more than just look back at her home being destroyed, she longed to be back in Sodom, but may I remind you that as a woman, her whole identity especially in that day and age was her children and her home (I'm not sure much has really changed about that). She had a lovely comfortable home in Sodom. We know she left behind two married daughters who with their husbands refused to come. It is reasonable to think that if she had married daughters, she also had grandchildren; whom I'm guessing she loved and took great joy in. What pains she must have felt, but she was not willing to leave behind her natural man/woman to follow the Lord.
It is time for me to close up my window towards Sodom, to flee the natural man and not look back.
PS One of the other ways the Spirit has told me to leave Sodom is to come out from hiding and let others get to know the real me...thus the blog. Join me as I work through the ups and downs of life.