Eat lots of bread

21 Mar

This is my first post since starting the program.  I was inspired by the post entitled “Como esta frijole?”  It was hilarious and made me chuckle, mainly because I saw a lot of myself in it. One of my reasons for considering this project was to put the breaks on my uncontrolled eating of late.  This unflattering realization clearly pointed to a greater sin in my life that many of my outwardly spiritual endeavors are tainted with this slant toward “what’s in it for me?”  or “how can I achieve some of the goals that I want for my life.” (notice how many “I’s”, “me’s” and “my’s” there were in that sentence).

There are very few things – maybe none? – that I do that are 100% just for God, with no self-interest on my part.  When I pray, I am seeking peace and comfort.  When I go to church, I am seeking the security of belonging in a community.  When I am helping others, I am seeking to feel good about myself…and so on. 

I know that these desires are things that God has placed into me and everyone else, probably, but there’s an important distinction between loving the gifts versus loving the Giver.  I want to make God the center of my life and be the best disciple that I can be in this life, not because being the best is important, but because I want to experience God’s love so fully that all my actions are uncontrollable acts of gratitude for His grace, rather than hollow self-serving gestures of holiness.  Change starts with realization, and the process of participating in this project has allowed me to take that first step.  Thanks to Robin and those that have supported her to make this possible.

I have to also say a little about how much I admired Juliana’s grit to stick with the program, even though she thought that seasoning was not included with the beans.  That’s perseverance!  I’m glad that she figured out that seasoning was allowed.

As for me, I’ve been using salsa verde, bought at the local mexican market, to season my beans and that’s been great.  Spiciness helps decrease appetite.  I have also been using a few tablespoons of clear broth to season my rice..and I eat a slice or two of fruit a day…and I drink flavored water and sometimes juice (gasp!).  I thought I’d share this since in most of the posts I read, everyone seemed like they were sticking to the letter of the program.  For those others out there, you are not alone (or maybe I AM alone).

Admittedly, I’m a rule-breaker.  I rarely stick to “the law” but try to abide by the spirit of the law.  For me, this mindset offers latitude, but I also realize that in Jesus day, that also meant in some circumstances that you had to hold to a higher standard (i.e., even though you could work on the Sabbath, you shouldn’t think angry thoughts bc that would be the same as murder.) 

I hope that for the purposes of this project, the “spirit of the law” allows for latitude.  My meals consist of beans, rice and oatmeal, with the exceptions noted, and through this, I am growing my compassion for the poor in the third world (and maybe the poor in the first world as well).  I’m not really hungry though.  I do have cravings, but I don’t think that you can have an experience of true hunger if you know that if you wait just a few days, you can have all the food that you want. 

This is not an option for those that are truly hungry. How do our brothers and sisters across the continent manage to maintain hope?:  How do they find joy in the midst of their dire poverty, in the midst of all they lack and can never hope to gain?  To these souls, Jesus must really be their bread — the one who sustains them daily both physically and spiritually.  In the midst of nothing, they have Everything, otherwise how can I understand what I read about the joy that missionaries relay of those who have Jesus in the third world.  I don’t want to romanticize poverty and it’s important to work towards its elimination, but I’m grateful that God has shown me that it’s possible to live with so little and still have it be enough.

Yikes this was a very long and rambling post.  I guess I’m making up for lost time.  Thanks to everyone in this virtual community. I’ll be praying for you to keep up the good fight and overcome those daily battles of temptation by eating your fill of bread — the Bread of Life, that is!  🙂