Tuesday, March 3, 2009


It has come to my attention that I have a serious problem. I am addicted to something I have daily and several times a day. I can't survive without it. In the past week without it, I have gone into deep withdrawals and had incredible mood swings. It's so much a part of my life, it goes with so many things, that without it, I'm not sure what to have to replace it. Without it, I have lashed out at loved ones during my detox state, I have had body aches and shakes from the lack of it. I long to have it and don't feel complete without it. Yes, my name is Jennifer, j-e-n-n-i-f-e-r, I am thirty years old, and I am addicted to.................. Coca-Cola.
For the Lenten season I decided I could live without coke. After all, it just 40 days right? Who can't do it? I thought it would be good for me anyway since I can't stand diet coke and the 'real thing' is not the healthiest for me. I did it back in high school cold turkey, so why couldn't I do it now at a much wiser, more knowledgeable age? This won't be too bad, or so I thought.... I was very excited about this endeavor, until....... it happened. Day One, not so bad. I sure missed it, I have coke for breakfast (yes, I do, its my coffee!) I have it during some meals and have at least 2 a day if not 3. I know, I know, bad. But Day One wasn't too terribly bad. Day Two, I was kinda ill, not happy that morning at work, clueless as to what to have with a lunch that was at The Varsity of all places, who goes to the Varsity and doesn't have a good ol' fashion coke with their meal??? (You orange drink lovers, thats not my thing, but I 'get' that you think its the Varsity's greatest menu item). I, on the other hand, cannot imagine my hot dog without a coke (yes, healthy at its best this week!) Anyhow, I survived with a mediocre sweet tea. Not too bad. But seriously people, its like salt and pepper, ketchup and mustard, Mexican food and COKE, pizza and COKE, cheese straws and COKE. So many meals and snacks will be at mediocre all the way around and I figured I'd just have to deal.
Day Three, you might as well have checked me in at Wellstar. I might have even required restraints, arm bands and all. I woke up in the foulest mood in ages and with a headache. This princess doesn't do headaches, I hardly take Advil, I am just blessed not to 'ache' often. Thankfully, some Tylenol was close by and so was the expiration date, but I had to have something. I was so ill the entire way to a family breakfast. At breakfast I started to literally feel sick and that was it, I thought to myself "I am getting the flu" I just don't feel 100% like the flu though?? Ladies and Gentlemen, it was the lack of my addiction~coca-cola. I was astonished at how TERRIBLE I felt and even more astonished that my body had THAT MUCH of a reaction to the lack of it!!! I was literally in shock. Not to mention, the person dining right directly in front of me at my table had a wonderful, fizzy, straight out of the can on cold ice, the real thing, no diet here, Coca-Cola, for breakfast. (See, I am not the only one). Not only was I ill and picking the pulp out of my teeth from my 'freshly squeezed orange juice' I was having to watch the coca-cola in front of me be downed by someone else with a refreshing "ahhh" after the sips. It was painful enough with the headahce and now this?!?!? It had me wondering if I should research and see if Coke keeps the secret of their recipe soooo secretive because it still has cocaine in it just like back when it was first made! I mean WHO can be addicted to coca-cola this bad that it causes withdrawal symptoms??? SURELY something else was wrong with me, this can't be from coke. Boy, was I wrong....
I figured that the mood would increase and the aches would decrease throughout the day, after all it was Saturday and a low-key one at that. Again, I was wrong. For those that know me, you know I love two things; coca-cola and shopping :). Folks, I couldn't even shop in good spirits that day!!! I continued to ache and pout and whine at my best (which I can do very very well). It never got better, so much that I was in bed at 9:30 pm on Saturday evening, hoping it would only get easier. Thankfully, Sunday was much easier, going to church and the snow was a nice distraction. I was reminded at church Sunday though while sitting in 'big church' and seeing our white cross that hangs above the pulpit, I thought quietly to myself....."Ya know Jennifer, the lack of coca-cola, although so good to me and I think I am 'dying' without it, is nothing compared to being hung on that cross to pay for another person's sins. I never had to endure such a thing or even close to it. I don't have to pay for others sins, and mine are gracefully and thankfully forgiven, my hands don't have the nail scars, I've never had blood pouring out of me from any wounds, I've never worn a wreath of thorns much less, so deep that they dug into my brows. I reflected on how many times I had thought a coke would taste oh so good on my lips, and the numerous times in just 6 short days, I've said 'oh, I am sooooo thirsty.' Why Jesus said the same thing while being crucified! "Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, said, “I am thirsty.” A jar full of sour wine was standing there; so they put a sponge full of the sour wine upon a branch of hyssop and brought it up to His mouth. "John 19:28-30
His thirst was obviously of a different measure than mine. I pray that in the next 34 days, that I don't complain as much about what am I going to drink, that I am reminded of the sacrifice that was made for me and this is just one way to humble myself before Him. I pray my heart is opened and this season is not looked upon in my mind as 'just something to do' That the true meaning of the Lenten season and Easter warms my heart and comforts me far more than my beloved coca-cola could do. I pray I choose to drink from the best source around, the only thing to quench the soul's thirst~the living water.