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Sermon Delivered at Unitarian Universalist Church 2011

Sermon Delivered at Unitarian Universalist Church 2011

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Published by Cheryl Petersen
To dis-attach appetite from food and the stomach helps bring about a content Holiday season.
To dis-attach appetite from food and the stomach helps bring about a content Holiday season.

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Categories:Types, Speeches
Published by: Cheryl Petersen on Dec 03, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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08/01/2013

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Sermon delivered at Unitarian Universalist Church 2011By Cheryl Petersen
Thank you for letting me speak this morning. A few months back Pam Strother askedme to give a sermon on this date and naturally the topic of Holiday Appetites popped intomy head as something simple and quite relevant. But, when I began thinking about it, Iconcluded Holiday Appetites is not so simple after all. Not only do I have an appetite forham dinners, herb rolls and thefamous family ChristmasCookies (which by the way areso delicious, we inserted therecipe into the handout youreceived this morning) but I findI also have a heightened appetitefor wanting to get together withfamily and friends, or forpresents. My appetite for thesethings grows during theHolidays. Or does it? I wonder,Can an appetite grow or get out of control? Now, this is the sort of question that keeps meawake at night.Many times, when I am awake at night I believe myhusband should be also, and I wake him up expecting adeep philosophical conversation. Doug is wise to me. Hepets me like
I’m
a cat, and sure enough I bounce off to finda quiet solitary place to find my answers alone while herolls over and philosophically snores. The problem is, I am
Unitarian Universalist, Oneonta, NY
 
not a cat. I don’t purr myself 
back to sleep. Instead, I exercise my mind as if I am at thegym.My mental workout is how I find answers to my spiritual questions. And this workoutinvolves 2 pieces of equipment. Research and Life experiences.For example, I use the Bible as a research tool.In this book of books, written by who knows who,there is a broad range of information on manytopics. In fact, I found a comment about appetiteattributed to Christ Jesus which says
“H
appy arethose who
hunger and thirst after righteousness.”
On an intellectual level, I can glimpse how anappetite for righteousness, or right thinking can belinked to happiness.
But this doesn’t rem
ove my appetite for pecan pie or a newmotorcycle jacket. Oddly, pecan pie and motorcycle jacket are not even mentioned in theBible. So where does this leave me? With more sleepless nights, to better understandappetite and how it is controlled. And, this is where life experiences come in, to make theabstract more practical.Take my appetite for gifting. Experience has taught me, that as I aged, or got wiser, Icould see
stuff 
did not bring real happiness. To make a long story short, my thinkingimproved over the years and my appetite for gift sharing has smoothed out.
I don’t“want” things like I use to.
If I receive something
I don’t need, I can give it to someone who does
need it. And, I can now see how a genuine hug,given throughout the year, brings more happinessthan a pasta maker under the tree.Oddly enough, this experience also taught meto see growth differently. The appetite for giftssymbolizes a growth by means of accumulation.An addition of stuff. But I
’ve
also noticed another kind of growth.
 
.I thought of the body. Although, it needs food, looking deeper, I find t
he body doesn’tgrow by receiving something from outside itself. When we were children, we didn’t go to
the catalog and order bigger arms or noses to add to our bodies. The body representssomething that unfolds. I also noticed that the body stops growing. Something iscontrolling it.I call
this “something”
God, divine Mind. I do have a God and I pray that it is spiritualMind, the creator of us, of appetite, and of satisfaction. It would only make sense thatGod controls with righteousness, or right thoughts, and they are their own reward.Interestingly, I came across a statement from the book 
Science and Health
by Mary Baker Eddy that reads,
“Appetite resides in the human mind, not in matter 
,
whichle
d me to question what I’ve been trained to think 
in the past.
I’ve been trained to believe
that appetite is triggered by thestomach or food or Holidays as if they are inseparable. So, Irephrased and broadened that statement about appetite being
in the mind, to say “appetite is detached from gifts, thestomach, or from food.”
It was the word, detach, that struck a chord. It gave me anew view of appetite as though it is an entity on its own so to speak, which in turn canconfirm the theory that
appetite doesn’t grow or diminish. It is the “thinking” of appetite
that grows or diminishes. And, the reason it looks like appetite comes in many sizes andshapes is because we all are attached or dis-attached to a huge variety of thinking. Youmay not, but I feel attached to my motorcycle. I feel completely dis-attached to wearingnylons and high heeled shoes. We all have our own unique attachments and dis-attachments when it comes to appetite.So, instead of getting hung up on what
kind
of appetite to have, I analyzed it fromthe simple perspective that appetite is its own entity. And, I found an experience thatshowed me this
“thinking”
is controllable.

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