I have discovered one thing during the last 13 days of being able to eat only seven foods. OK, I hope I’ve discovered more than one thing. But this one thing stands out. I would make a lousy legalist. This is good news, since not so many years ago I think I made a fairly proficient one. It wasn’t a good idea then, either.
There are so many grey areas in this month’s Seven. (See last week’s post if you have no idea what I’m talking about.) Like, is tomato sauce a condiment or a separate food? (We call it separate, for the record. Tomatoes just seem so, I don’t know, individual.) Is a conversation heart really food? What about drinks? I mean, tea is pretty much dark water, but a Jamba Juice? That’s, like, five different foods right there. And, as Pastor Andy maintains, eggs are totally chicken. Who could argue?
I am not cut out to split hairs. Details often don’t even make my radar screen, let alone become obsessions. While middle child wishes to maintain a strict adherence to the law, I breezily accept that chocolate chip banana bread is most certainly bread. I repeat—this is not the person I used to be.
I used to want to keep all the rules. I used to want to perform perfectly. I used to want to judge other people who didn’t. In my lesser moments, I still do.
But what I want us to learn from 7 is not how to keep rules and hold others to them. It’s how a choice of lifestyle affects all of life. How what we think changes what we do. How I can take small steps closer to the human in community God wants me to be. It’s not how, if we diligently make sure we don’t ever consume one candy heart, we’ll somehow be holier.
That last one is so, so much easier, though, isn’t it? It’s quantifiable. Check-offable. Black and white holiness. But it has no effect at all on my heart. Or mind. Which, darn it, are the things God always seems to want to change the most.
So, I’m glad 7 is teaching me that abandoning legalism (but embracing holiness) was a good idea. Now, while I figure out what else it’s teaching me, I’m off the find those frozen bananas.