Just for the record, this Old Hippie is NOT a picky eater, in case you were thinking of inviting me for dinner!!
Confessions of a Picky Eater
Excerpt from 1 Corinthians 10:23—11:1
“If an unbeliever invites you to a meal and you are disposed to go, eat whatever is set before you without raising any question on the ground of conscience.”
Reflection by Lillian Daniel
I have to confess that I am a picky eater. Not a righteous eater. Just a picky one.
I don’t want to be. I want to be the kind of person who tries the octopus, who loves snails and eats whatever is offered. I want to be the person who visits a foreign country and accepts the gift of mysterious organs in the soup as an adventure.
But stop. I can’t lie in a devotional. I don’t want to be that person at all. I think those people are crazy.
I have a whole list of things I will eat, and things I won’t and the second list is way longer. And while I pretend to feel bad about it, and may give lip service to how much I know I am missing, it’s not true. I don’t think I am missing a thing. Everything on the list of things I don’t like is there for a reason. I don’t like it. Or at least I think I don’t. And to my mind, that should be enough.
But Paul’s advice to the early church was to eat whatever was put before you. So why did he say that? I assume it was not simply to torture me.
In the days of the early church, there were all sorts of rules about who you could eat with and what you would eat. There was a sense that good people ate one way, and bad people ate another.
But don’t you relate to that? How many of you, when you drive through for something fried, sweet, milky or greasy, make sure you throw away your junk food wrappers before anyone sees them? Would you be that panicked to have someone catch you eating a seaweed salad?
These days there are a lot of thoughtful people putting a lot of thought into what thoughtful people should eat. I know it’s important to think about these things, but it’s also important to think about people’s feelings. I have seen people use their dietary rules like a battering ram, giving everyone who doesn’t subscribe to them a case of heartburn.
We’re a nation that has so many food choices, we have had to become the leader in food rules to keep ourselves in check. So let’s not begrudge the vegetarian or the locavore or the omnivore with a dilemma. Let’s not judge the big breakfast eater, the all-day snacker or the person who thinks that if you eat it standing up and over the sink, it doesn’t count.
Let’s just sit at the table together in peace and give thanks.
God is great, God is good, let us thank God for our food. Amen.
About the Author
Lillian Daniel is the senior minister of the First Congregational Church, UCC, Glen Ellyn, Illinois. She is the author, with Martin Copenhaver, of This Odd and Wondrous Calling: the Public and Private Lives of Two Ministers.
Live simply. Love generously.
Care deeply. Speak kindly.
Leave the rest to God.
“The Lord sets the prisoners free; the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the strangers; [the Lord] upholds the orphan and the widow.”
– Psalm 146:7-9
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