Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest
I think just about everyone knows about Nathan’s Hot Dogs™ even if a visit to Coney Island has not been on the vacation schedule. Every year Nathan’s has a hot dog eating contest on July 4. This year Joey Chestnut consumed 69 hot dogs in ten minutes. Roughly figuring, that is one hot dog every 11.5 seconds. That is the meat and the bun. Of course, the food must stay down as well. He broke his own record set in 2012 of 68 and his goal was 70. (Yes, I watched it; I found it channel surfing.)
It seems to me that competitive eating might be considered gluttony. The college dictionary I own defines it as “The act or practice of eating to excess.” Then there is a second definition: “Gluttony is having a craving that conquers a person.” Most of the time gluttony is associated with food. Proverbs 23:1-8 deals with eating, and verse 2 is explicit in saying, “. . .put a knife to thy throat if thou be a man given to appetite.”
I noticed something peculiar about most of the competitors in Nathan’s contest. Most of them were normal or slightly below normal weight. The television commentary explained that they have a method of training that expands their stomachs to hold four times the amount of a regular person without gaining weight. Joey Chestnut knows control. I do not qualify him as a glutton.
Our lives need control. Balance cannot tolerate the imbalance of gluttony. Whether we crave pizza or tofu, we must maintain balance. The same is true of our spiritual experience. If we consume large portions of God’s Word but do not pray regularly; we are out of balance. If we pray, and read God’s Word, but never share the gospel, we are out of balance. Many Believers are gluttons for God’s Word. They want to win every Bible challenge. Many Believer’s pray at the moment they hear of a need, but do not pray in secret where the soul cries out for mercy. Some Believers boast, yes, boast, about how many they have turned to Christ. They are gluttonous for numbers.
What consumes me, and what I consume has a relationship that must be kept in control. Job learned that valuable lesson as expressed in Job 42:5: “I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye seeth Thee.” Job was first a consumer, then he was consumed. Lord, let it be thus with me and with my readers.