Pleasure Is Not a Trap

People often talk about food–specifically, pleasurable, enjoyable food–as if it’s semi-sinful. As if it is wrong. As if the pleasure a food affords is unfair, because it takes us off guard, traps us, entices us, and leads us astray.

I’ve heard (and read) good people who say things like why couldn’t God make carrots and broccoli taste like chocolate caramels and marshmallows?

And I have wondered the same thing. I once determined not to enjoy food. To eat abstemiously, only enough to remain alive, but not enough to be taken in by the temptations of taste; taste, to my mind at that time, being utterly gratuitous.

But there it is, right there–gratuitous. From the Latin meaning ‘given freely.’ That’s what taste is: a freely given extravagance, given us by God, given us for the purpose of knowing how gracious God is.

Given so that in our days under the sun we may eat with joy.