Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Whether Broccoli or Prime Rib

As I sat at the breakfast table today, I decided to read the Message, a bible paraphrase.  Now, lest I set myself up falsely, let me disclose that more often than not my daily morning reading consists of scrolling through a newsfeed and at best reading some inspirational blogs.  Consistent scripture reading continues to be a discipline that I too often neglect.  But today, I opened to Romans 12-14  and the modern paraphrase of the truth contained struck my eyes in a new way:

Romans 13:6-9 (The Message)  What’s important in all this is that if you keep a holy day, keep it for God’s sake; if you eat meat, eat it to the glory of God and thank God for prime rib; if you’re a vegetarian, eat vegetables to the glory of God and thank God for broccoli. None of us are permitted to insist on our own way in these matters. It’s God we are answerable to—all the way from life to death and everything in between—not each other. That’s why Jesus lived and died and then lived again: so that he could be our Master across the entire range of life and death, and free us from the petty tyrannies of each other.

Which reminds me of these verses also written by Paul:

1Corinthians 10:31-33 (NIV)
 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32 Do not cause anyone to stumble,whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God 33 even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.

1 Corinthians 10: 31-33 (The Message) So eat your meals heartily, not worrying about what others say about you—you’re eating to God’s glory, after all, not to please them. As a matter of fact, do everything that way, heartily and freely to God’s glory. At the same time, don’t be callous in your exercise of freedom, thoughtlessly stepping on the toes of those who aren’t as free as you are. I try my best to be considerate of everyone’s feelings in all these matters; I hope you will be, too.

So maybe you've picked up on that fact that I sometimes get caught up in people pleasing and the opinions of others.  I can often be tossed about by every wave of "the best way of do everything better... now!"  Specifically as it deals with health and nutrition.

Much like the discipline of scripture reading, I want to mind my health better and the way I raise my kids to eat well and exercise.  But so often I feel a nagging sense of guilt that I DON'T think is from the Lord.  Certainly, I know my body is the vessel of His spirit.  It is a gift.

However, just as He wants me to know Him more because I love him (less out of duty, more out of love), I think he wants me to improve my health and eating habits out of this truer motivation. Not out of guilt or shame from a blog or blurb I've read.

As both a typical mom trying to navigate the perfectionistic and false ideals we've created about what it means to be a woman, wife and mother and as an 'autism' mom, I feel this extra pressure to be better about what we eat.  It's a repetitive battle, "I know I should, I know I should, I know I should."

But this little engine's not ready to climb that particular mountain today.

We're climbing constipation and withholding.  Climbing expectations and reality.  Climbing relationship buiding.  And we are gaining. We are gaining!

So when I read that little bit about "if you eat meat, eat it to the glory of God and thank God for prime rib; if you’re a vegetarian, eat vegetables to the glory of God and thank God for broccoli,"  I smiled. 

God's pleased with me whether I eat broccoli or prime rib.  Even if I eat two icing-from-a-can cupcakes and and my kids eat Cheez-Its (solely for explanatory purposes, you understand).

He's pleased with us as believers whether we eat a certain restricitve diet, or we don't.  Whether we're fit or we're not.  Whether we fit into an ever-changing defintion of "good" or not.

Because He is Good.  The Only Good.  He is God.  

And because of Jesus,  He is pleased with me.

Despite and in spite of my behavior.

So know that today.  In Christ, God is pleased with you.  Right where you are.

1 comment:

Jennie said...

I missed this one, Melissa...but that right there? Pure gold. Love it!