Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Dear God, May I Have the Pre-Chewed Food?

Courtesy T. Parker
When I first saw the video, I sat and stared waiting for someone to tell me it was an April Fool's joke. In fact, for a news cycle or two, I was not alone. Alicia Silverstone's practice of pre-masticating her toddler's food set the talking heads of cable news channels abuzz.

I didn't have to do any sociological queries for historical relevance to figure out that the practice made me wince. I can imagine a day when it might have been down right necessary for a mom to chew her baby's food. Like maybe when the westward bound pioneers had to navigate the Donner Pass in the dead of winter. Thankfully, today we can utilize handy dandy tools like the Ninja blender to save ourselves some time and public ridicule.

I saw myself in the mirror today. I realized that Ms. Silverstone's toddler and I have much more in common than I could have ever believed. It ain't purdy, let me tell you. I'm hoping I'm not alone in my misery. Since misery loves company, I'm gonna clue you in.

Courtesy D. Scott
I was wrestling with God as usual this morning. “I want my best life now, and it's no where in sight.” I shook my head at the me in the mirror staring back. “Why is it that one group tells me I can have abundant blessings of health, wealth, and happiness while another tells me that the path to righteousness includes entering into the fellowship of Christ's sufferings? If the former is true, why is there so much of the latter?” I groaned and shook my hairbrush at the mirror-me. “I really want an answer, God. These are not rhetorical questions.”

Over the course of the day, my mind flooded with snippets of other people's lives:
  • 2 families in crises with children for whom there seems no right answer
  • 2 family members who've undergone major surgery
  • a close friend whose future sits perched in the hands of others
  • 2 families who are about to lose their homes because of this wretched economy
  • 2 families dealing with the realities of mental illness
The list doesn't have an end. I just stopped for your sakes. You get the picture. Behind brave smiles, courageous effort, and profound faith, there is pain, suffering, and fear.

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative
I know very few folks who hit the heavenly lottery and got to be one of the beautiful people with health, wealth, and happiness in abundance. I could be downright irked if not outright jealous that those folks got a deal that wasn't offered to me.

Know what I've figured out? The few I have known who got that health, wealth, and happiness deal seem to struggle as much as I do behind the closed doors of their perfect Barbie and Ken spiritual lives. They just don't tell you their pain hurts as much as yours.

I sat in the quiet tonight waiting for an answer I wasn't sure was coming. This is what I heard:

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative
Spiritual 'chewing' is hard work. To seek after spiritual food that produces growth takes commitment and tenacity. It means you keep persevering even when there is no health, wealth, or happiness. Like wrestling, it's sweaty, unflattering, and costly. That's why so many remain so immature in their faith. They wait for me to chew up their spiritual food and 'kiss feed' them because everyone wants an easy path to faith. I did my part. I died on the cross. The chewing is up to you.

The truth hurts when you know you've heard it, and it applies to you. Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief. Give me faith that enables me to chew real food not the milk of infants nor the pre-chewed food of trendy spiritual toddlers. You did your part. Help me do mine.

I Corinthians 3: 1-3a (ESV)
But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh.

                                   Ephesians 4: 14 (NIV)
Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.
 Jeremiah 8: 9 (ESV)
The wise men shall be put to shame; they shall be dismayed and taken; behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD, so what wisdom is in them? 



  1. (Christy's dad.) I once was yelled at in an Episcopal Church in Maitland, Fl. The speaker wanted someone to quote Romans 8:28, so I started at the "meat" of the verse - all things work together for good... NO!! --- The verse begins with "for we know" That knowledge only comes by experience + wrestling with God about my situation and His will- Not arm's length boxing - but wrestling with HIM! - Jack

  2. Oh, Mr. Jack, what a pleasure it was to meet you and your sweet wife. Thank you for stopping by my fraidy cat part of the universe and for your kind words of encouragement. Ya'll travel safe! I'll keep an eye on you-know-who and make sure she behaves. :-)

  3. Also try to remember CA that this world is not the one that matters. It is only temporary and that these bad things are not God's causing, nor does He allow them to happen. Think of the future. Hopefully He is coming soon!