South High School was not a pleasant time for me. Despite graduating in 1967, I do not carry around the fond memories of those "happy days" that many do all their lives. My wife for example has never missed a high school reunion her entire life. She has maintained most of those friendships, and gladly re-kindles them every five years. I used to go because I thought it was my duty to support her, until one reunion I made a complete ass of myself by getting jealous of her "friends." Ever since then I have not been invited and with good reason...At 63 my wife remains fit, trim and beautiful, so when she attracted more attention than I thought was acceptable, I made a scene and remain forever banished from attending.
My memories were very different than Susan's. She was a born leader with plenty of brains and good looks, so she sailed through high school and college, while I flopped around like a fish out of water with black glasses with coke bottle lenses. I was not popular, smart or resourceful. I was good at very few things, like baseball, geometry, and Latin, that's right, Latin. In baseball I was an amazing pitcher, in fact when I was in 9th grade, the high school varsity team brought me up, ostensibly for one game, to see what all the commotion was about. You see I was striking out an average of 10 per game and had never given up an earned run. When the high school coach handed me the ball against Painesville Harvey's team, I was scared to death...After striking out 15 guys that game and pitching for several years, I got my one and only small letter "s" for my letter sweater. It wasn't long afterword that I got a broken hand and a chipped tooth on the same play, as I was trying to cover first base. That was it...I was never able to grip the ball the same, so my devastating curve ball was gone.
Scholastically, I was just above average in high school, except for three subjects: Geometry, Latin and English. For some reason I "got" geometry and loved learning about it, but my propensity for language was just beginning in high school, backed by four years of Latin study, which brings me to a Latin word that you need to know:
"Gluttio, Gluttire, Gluttavi, Gluttatus"
I won't bore you with the extreme difficulty of this "dead" language, so suffice to say that unbeknown to me at the time, it became my foundation for understanding how all languages work. As I traveled the globe over the years, it helped me with all the romance languages, like Spanish, French and Italian, as well as provided me with a deeper understanding of words and phrases used in ancient times, as well as current day law, like "in loco parentis." And of course the Pope himself, and many of his minions still do High Mass in the original tongue, Latin. All this means is that I should have taken a job in the Vatican, because I highly doubt Julius Caesar is coming to town any time soon.
Today I am going to focus on the on the second word from the left, "Gluttire." To start with this word, as does most of the "lingua latina" has multiple meanings, and we will explore them all, but first you need to know that this word is a verb. Latin makes it come in all shapes and sizes, that frankly would drive most of us crazy, but since I was the nerdy, unpopular type, I took solace in the intricacies of conjugating verbs. The literal translation of "Gluttire" is to gulp down food or drink continually with no end in sight. "Gluttio" means I gulp down food or drink continually with no end in sight. This is the etymology of word, "Gluttony."
Further study finds that the definition in the original language does not confine this verb to food and/or drink. It can also be applied to wealth, power, drugs, gambling, popularity and on ad infinitum...Since I am extremely overweight, gluttony directly applies to me, so I have personal experience with the power of this particular sin. We certainly would agree that someone who can never get enough alcohol lives in clutches of this same sin, but I want you to concentrate on the all the applications of this evil. In one way or another, we all have a part of a sin that society has perpetually legitimized. If you call it something else, like a disease, you are now able to shed personal responsibility, because this evil has been dressed itself up to be socially acceptable. After all, if you have a disease, it's not your fault...That logic is straight from the evil one himself, but I am here to tell you that stuffing yourself with food, alcohol, or drugs is not a disease. It is the rationalization of a deep seated sin that needs to be recognized, repented of and forgiven by God himself. By no means is this easy...My personal gluttony is food, not because I have a disease like measles or pneumonia, but because I haven't learned to control my appetite, stemming from my emotions and daily stress. I would love to say that it is out of my control and place the responsibility elsewhere, but that does nothing to improve me personally or my relationship with the Creator. We live in a world where very few of us want responsibility for anything bad or negative, but we can't wait for praise and adulation from anyone who will toss it our way.
Many of us spend our lives working, saving, scrimping, and pushing for some semblance of wealth. It's just like any other part of our existence that we refuse to control. Some wealth feels great, but more of it is never enough of it. If you have $1,000 you want $5,000. If you have $5,000, you want $25,000 and so on, making it possible to be gluttonous about wealth. It is just as easy to be gluttonous about fame or gambling. It's all about appetites that cannot be satiated no matter how much you consume in your lifetime, and of course, while you are pursuing your appetites, you forget about God. He never changed or moved away from you, but suddenly you have any or all of these things in front of serving the one, true Jehovah. Your appetites are no different than the children of God worshiping graven images and other gods in the early days of the Old Testament. How long will you worship at the altars listed above or your own personal alter? You end up worshiping anything or anyone that takes control over your life and pulls you away from self-control supported by God. The Bible teaches us balance and control in our daily lives. Moderation in all things is Godly, extreme behavior is anything but Godly. With God's help take control today, understand and accept your personal responsibility for your sin, and He will forgive and what's even better, forget...His promise of forgiveness is the only one that counts in this world and the next.
He is waiting for you to come to Him. With his help you can get off the treadmill of your particular appetite, gaining control and putting moderation back into your life. God has promised that, "if you seek him, you will find him."
May God himself light the way from your darkness into His light.
The Digital Disciple