Life can be tough

Today has been a very good day. I began by meeting up with a friend at an Exit on I-75 north for a late

At the table...again. (The Hog Father, Ashleigh & Nataleigh)

breakfast. Waffle House. Oh, how I miss my Waffle House in Cartersville — exit 293. It’s right across from the Cartersville Harley-Davidson dealership. I take my bike by for service and a wash and go eat at Waffle House while I wait. Those ladies would always make sure I had everything I wanted — 3 eggs scrambled, large bacon (5 strips) medium, hash-browns scattered and smothered, toast with jelly, and I was a happy camper. Today I was a little more modest. I settled for 2 eggs and a regular bacon.

We had a very nice visit. As I rode back to the office, on my Harley of course — it was only 40 something degrees — I thought about my Waffle House “obsession.” I wondered just how many calories I had just consumed. How many fat grams? How much did that platter of food weigh?

Eating again.....are those fries????

As the start date for our Four for Forty (four guys for forty days) event draws closer I am beginning to think more and more about what this experience will cost me in terms of taste, texture, fragrance, visual appeal, volume, and general appetite appeal. I mean, a rice, soy protein, vegetarian meal doesn’t really have a chance against Waffle House, Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Zaxby’s, Chick-fil-a (sorry Brenda), The Redneck Gourmet, Founder’s, Senoia Coffee Shop & Cafe, and Maguire’s Irish Pub.

Now I expect my friend John to excel at this venture. He has been eating vegetarian for a few years. I hope he can offer me advice on ways to make this interesting — without compromising the whole plan. I mean, the idea is to experience what it’s like for those who are starving to have this as their one true meal each day — if they are lucky enough to have access to it on a regular basis.

We had our weekly fellowship dinner at the church tonight. This week it was a potato bar (big baked potato, sour cream, cheese, chili, bacon bits, onions) and side salad with real salad dressing (not that thin fat free stuff) and desert of brownies, ice cream, & cake. This is not my usual type of meal. Oh, I love a good baked potato and salad — but I usually have it showcasing a steak, a pork chop, or a chicken breast. I left dinner with my hunger satisfied, but my taste buds and my craving for meat (and fats) unquenched.

Thinking about this 40 day journey, and what I will give up has me seriously wondering how I will manage. I mean, I left my breakfast at Waffle House thinking about the Stop Hunger Now, Four for Forty and arrived at the office checking the clock to see how much time was left before lunch! What am I going to do when I get only 2 cups of rice/soy for each meal? I will get plenty of nutrition — they have many vitamins and minerals in the meal. After all, they are designed for children that are malnourished. I looked at a measuring cup before coming to the office to write this blog. It’s not that big. Two of them really isn’t that much. I’m a big guy (see photo above). This might just hurt a little.

And yet, that is just the point. The persons that are hungry in our world are hurting each and every day. Actually they are dying. They are aware of how small these portions are and yet they are very grateful to get them. The problem is that those of us who are so privileged — that have so very much, that live in abundance — aren’t hurting. We sit in our comfortable homes or churches, we hear about the plight of the millions of starving people around the world and we say: “That is so sad. Someone ought to do something.” And we might even send in a small donation to some agency that seeks to help provide for these persons. But where is our sacrifice?

There are about 1 billion people in the world living on less than $1 a day. Roughly 2.6 billion people live on less than $2 per day -which  is 40% of the world’s population. Almost half the world – over 3 billion people – lives on less than $2.50. (Source: Global Issues, 2010.) And we send in $5, $10, $20 and feel so good about ourselves.

Martin Luther King, Jr. states: “I have the audacity to believe that people everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for the minds and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits.” And the reality is that this is actually possible. There is enough food in the world to feed everyone 4.3 pounds of food every day. The world has produced enough food to feed itself since the 1960s. Farmers produce 25 percent more calories per person than they did 30 years ago.

We buy houses, cars, boats,  motor homes, and many other things. And we don’t really consider the consequences of our purchases. Now I could go all Dave Ramsey here but I won’t. Let’s assume you have the financial resources for all these purchases. We have created a whole industry of warehouses because we own so much stuff it won’t fit in our big houses.

What if we purchased things that met our needs and not our wants? I mean a Ford Taurus carries me from A to B just as good as a Lexus — for a lot less money. A 1,000 square foot house was good enough for most of our parents. Why do we need 2,000 or 3,000 square feet now. Have we gotten that much bigger so that we need more room? (And before you point out that I  own a Harley — I made that purchase before I had my conscience jarred awake by this knowledge. I haven’t worked out how to deal with that situation.)

If we were more conscious of the consequences of our purchasing, we would not have the debt most of us have. We would also have disposable income to use to make our world a better place to live — for everyone. We would not be reading the blog of some nobody pastor in middle Georgia telling us that every 3 seconds a person dies because they can’t get access to the 4.3 pounds of food they COULD have. That every 6 seconds it is a child that dies because of lack of access to food that already exists. That every night some 1 billion people go to bed not just hungry but starving. (That’s one of seven people in the world.)

So I ask you again. You are reading this blog. I hope that means you are concerned or growing concerned about this situation. Will you, like me, choose to make a personal sacrifice to help change these statistics? Will you choose to sponsor my effort at raising funds to make a dent in this situation?

You can make your tax-deductible donation to Stop Hunger Now by sending your check or money order to: Senoia UMC Post Office Box 98, Senoia, GA 30276.

My friend John has asked folks to sponsor his efforts by contributing the $1.50 each day’s food will cost on this journey. That works out like this: $1.50 X 40 = $60. He has received pledges equal to half of his goal $2,500. He’s making me look bad. So far NO ONE has stepped up to take this opportunity to help

Packaging the Meals

as a result of my efforts. Will you be the first? If each of us can secure a minimum of $2,500 from donors, we can hold 4 packaging events in 4 towns for a total of 40,000 meals. Won’t you join us in actually doing something meaningful? We can actually make a life-saving difference in our world. Join us, won’t you? My personal goal is to set aside the usual money I would spend on my meals for Stop Hunger Now. My usual lunch at the The Redneck Gourmet is their grilled cheese sandwich with fried green tomatoes which comes to $9+, add tip $5+(I take care of my servers) that comes to $14+ per day. I haven’t done the math on supper/dinner. What are you willing to do?

I’m going to miss fats — but I won’t miss being fat. May I live the statement: “May I decrease that God may increase” in a very literal and figurative sense.

Until the next time….The Hog Father


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