It’s because of my Grammy and her family that we now have all kinds of rules at restaurants about what you can and can’t take home with you. They grew up during the Depression; at least, that was the “reasoning” they used for their behavior. They didn’t just ask for doggie bags. They brought their own in the form of empty butter and cottage cheese containers. We first thought it was just Grammy’s quirkiness. My mom found out it was genetic when she went to a restaurant with a group of the siblings, and they all began to pull plastic containers from their purses at the end of the meal. While my mom sat mortified among them, they cleaned the table like a group of vultures. There wasn’t a packet of sugar left.
No food left behind!
Fast forward to today. No one in my family, probably as a knee jerk response to separate ourselves from the vulture-like behavior, take food home from a restaurant unless it’s something that makes sense, such as a whole piece of chicken or half the salad we separated before pouring dressing on it because we’re limiting portions. Some might call it wasteful, but we’re just trying to avoid the trappings of family patterns.
We don’t scoop up all the food in public, but we definitely hover over it when we’re at my parents’ house. Mom always wants to send food home with us after a huge family gathering. (1) She’s being kind and wants to share. (2) There’s no possible way she can fit everything into her refrigerator.
But we’re fairly picky about what we take. We don’t want to be eating the same food for days to come, mainly because we know we simply do not need the extra food. We take what we know we’ll eat. Everyone takes her favorites. A few items, such as my aunt’s cheesy potatoes, cause more of a stir as they get scooped up in a frenzy among several competing family members.
Grammy’s siblings gathered up everything they could to be sure nothing was wasted. Availability superceded preference. My siblings gather what they want. Preference supercedes availability.
So, the question is…
Spiritually speaking, do you fill your to-go containers with what’s available or with what you prefer? Do you revenously scoop up every available morsel? Do you pick and choose only what’s palatable to you?
To ravenously scoop up every available morsel suggests there’s no discernment involved. I could end up getting food poisoning or having an allergic reaction. Picking and choosing only what’s palatable to me suggests self-centeredness. I could end up missing out on the vitamins I need or the enjoyment of a new taste.
If I was only talking about food, I could begin to pit the “clean-your-plate” camp against the “eat-only-until-your-full” camp, but I’m not trying to solve world hunger or address eating disorders with today’s post. Shift your focus to spiritual food.
How do you nourish your spirit? How often do you feast? Snack? How do you decide when, where, and how you eat? With whom do you eat?
As difficult as it is for me to recommend - now that you know my family background – I strongly suggest you fill your to-go containers full. Choose the contents well. You never know when you’ll need a snack to give you the boost of energy required to make it through life’s situations.
By now you should be teachers, but you need someone to teach you again the first lessons of God’s message. You still need the teaching that is like milk. You are not ready for solid food. Anyone who lives on milk is still a baby and knows nothing about right teaching. But solid food is for those who are grown up. They are mature enough to know the difference between good and evil. Hebrews 5:12-14