esau syndrome

The doctor opened the door and his 6’6″ frame took over the room.

Clad in a grayish white gown and, figiting with its paper-yet-plastic texture, I caught his gaze. I didn’t waste time. I knew something was wrong. That’s why I was there.

“What did the test show?”

“I won’t lie to you. I’ve seen this many times. It’s serious…”

I felt like someone just hoovered all the air from my lungs.

“It’s called Esau Syndrome.”

“What syndrome?”

“Esau Syndrome. Named after Jacob’s twin who sold his birthright for a bowl of chowder.”

“Stew,” I corrected. Call me a firstborn.

“Yeah, whatever,” he said. “Either way, his decision-making was diseased. He only saw short-term needs and lost view of the big picture. This, I’m afraid, is what the lab tests show. But, Angie, there’s good news. You don’t have to be saddled with this your whole life. The diagnosis is reversable.”

Yet again, God used The Message to challenge my thinking today. The setting was Starbuck’s and Hebrews. This passage stirred me to think about the Syndrome that I, and many others, suffer with daily:

“Watch out for the Esau syndrome: trading away God’s lifelong gift in order to satisfy a short-term appetite” (Hebrews 12).

The writers of Hebrews is referring to Genesis 25 when the story of Jacob and Esau is told. It seems so ridiculous that Esau would have traded his birthright for something as trivial as a bowl of soup. Yet he did. He was a trade-er.

I’m a trade-er, too.

Chowing on chocolate in lieu of stopping and considering if I’m really even hungry. If I’m not, what would my heart rather have?

Trading in 30 minutes of reading life-changing truth in the morning for staying up late watching a TV show I wasn’t really even interested in.

“Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how He did it. Because He never lost sight of where He was headed” (Hebrews 12).

As I walk up to 2007 tonight, my desire for the new year is this: That I would trade acting on my short-term desires for believing God and being patient; living with my eyes on the bigger picture.

Happy New Year, friends.

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