I have recently begun a journey with a few of my friends. We just finished our first week of a real-life experiment. We are choosing to be uncomfortable. By the time the nine weeks are over, we will have attempted to grow outside of our comfort zones and have a better understanding of the world around us in a variety of areas.
The first area we tackled was food. For a week we chose to eat only 7 foods.
Before I began the week, I said to myself, “I can do anything for a week.” You may remember my last post – yes anything when it’s my choice and on my schedule. Sure, I’ll sacrifice when it’s on my terms.
So I chose 7 foods that I would eat for the week: chicken, eggs, rice, beans, brocolli, apples and bananas. It wasn’t real well balanced. There really weren’t any super foods involved. I just knew it would be doable.
As the week went on, my mantra changed. Though this was a sacrifice of sorts, it wasn’t really. I had the privilege of being able to eat 3 meals a day, a couple even in restaurants and snacks (an apple or banana) if I wanted. I still live a life of privilege and abundant choices. I drank lots of clean water. As each day went on, I was more and more mindful of all the people who do not have the choice of whether to eat or not. I thought of all the other people who do not have a choice in what they will eat. I have many more choices than so many, based solely on where and to whom I was born. I was not about to complain. I stopped saying, “I can do anything for a week” because it sounded kind of pouty and far from humble.
The results from the week were varied. Most of the week I didn’t feel well, even though I got to eat. The departure from the standard sugars, caffeine and whatever else my body was used to but wasn’t getting , gave me headaches, and various other aches and pains. On the other hand my spirit was more sensitive and my emotions were raw. I cried easier (could that even be possible?), and thought of others more. Not just far-away ‘others’ in distant lands who are starving to death. Others in Salina who are going without. In Salina alone, 61% of our children qualify for free or reduced lunches. There are those in our town who are living in poverty, families one day from homelessness living in local hotels on a week to week basis. Others that I know personally are living dangerously close to the edge of hopelessness.
So, my little experiment was barely a drop in the bucket. I got to say when it started and ended. I got to choose what I wanted to eat for a week. In comparison to others, mine was a wimpy attempt at understanding. For those Americans who are like me, however, who walk into our kitchens and declare there is nothing to eat, when our cupboards and refrigerators are full, it was a good lesson. I counted the food items in my kitchen. Not counting spices and beverages, I had 244 items.
This is just the beginning of a journey that I am sensing will last more than 9 weeks. It is one I am glad I am taking. There is nothing like doing things differently, upsetting our routines, not getting what we want when we want, to help us see things differently.
“God can give us eyes to see and ears to hear; He can gift us with perspective and wisdom, discernment and mercy. These are His to disperse, and they change everything. In His care, luxuries can become disposable and resources dispensable.” Jen Hatmaker – Author of “7” (the book we are basing this journey on).
Now THAT is worth getting uncomfortable for. Let it be so, Lord!
Abundance is… the many different choices we get to make in the course of a day.