A Hearty Breakfast
The All-American breakfast of eggs and bacon. It is the first thing that comes into the mind as we contemplate breakfast. Yes, cereal, toast, and pastries are all thought of but nothing rings truer than eggs and bacon. But what is the history behind this classic breakfast staple? How did it come become so deeply entwined with American culture?
It all started with a man named Edward Bernays and his advertising campaign. In the 1920s, Bernays was approached by the Beech-Nut Company which requested that he design a way to increase the sales of bacon in the United States. Bernays went to work quickly, contacting his companies internal doctor to ask him a very simple question. “Would Americans benefit from eating a heartier breakfast?” Nothing more, nothing less. The doctor, of course, answered yes, not being told exactly what was a “hearty breakfast.” From there, Bernays set out on a surveying quest, asking in excess of 500 doctors that same question and the overwhelming consensus was yes.
Bernays then took that data and came to a very simple and factual conclusion: 9 out of 10 doctors recommend a heartier breakfast. It is what he did next that changed American dietary habits forever. Positioning those words on billboards all across America, he then placed the picture of bacon and eggs in the background, thereby defining eggs and bacon to be what constituted a “heartier breakfast.” And thus, the All-American breakfast was born.
By this point, we are all fairly well aware that eggs and bacon are not doctor-recommended, but that certainly hasn’t stopped us from enjoying them. We know that there are consequences to eating bacon frequently, but the taste of bacon often overcomes our desires for healthy living. We often come to that same fork in the road (no pun intended) spiritually in the morning. We wake up with the choice to either consume what tastes good or what is good for us. We choose between drinking up the gossip from last night’s social media encounters or cracking open our Bibles for a moment in the Word. Between immersing ourselves in the daily news or in prayer. Between getting caught up in the worries of the day or being swept up by the uplifting encouragement of God. And we seldom make the right choice.
We fail to recognize that those things—social media, news, and worries—will always be there, exactly the same, day after day. But this may be our only opportunity to hear what God has to tell us so that we can stand when it comes time to face the day. It is just like John 12 when Mary comes anoint Jesus’ feet:
Then Mary took about a pinta of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages. ” He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.
“Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.” (John 12:3-8 NIV)
The day will always have its worries, but we may only have this one opportunity to spend it with our Savior.
So let us turn from our sugary breakfast cereals, our pastries, and even our bacon to the true sustenance that comes only through Christ. That is what will give us the energy to make it through the day. We can’t afford to eat our fill of anything else, so set aside some time today to look through the Word, to be encouraged by God, and hear what He has to tell you before we turn to the things of the day. First, make way for the eternal, and you will find plenty of time for the temporal.
With the timeless love of Christ,
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.
Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
Matthew 6:24 ESV