1 Cor, Don't Let's Call It a Diet

Or Do You Not Know?

(Thinking about texts for the 2nd Sunday after Epiphany, especially 1 Corinthians 5:12-20)

When I re-purposed this blog, which I started as a 365 writing blog two years ago, I titled it Reflectionary, hoping to do more writing on the topic of the texts from the Revised Common Lectionary. And I do that, but I also do other blogging, sometimes one more than the other. I've fallen out of some habits I tried to establish this time last year, to write about all four texts, even briefly, each week, and I'm going to start again.

"All things are lawful for me," but not all things are beneficial. "All things are lawful for me," but I will not be dominated by anything."Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food," and God will destroy both one and the other. (1 Corinthians 6:12-13)

I'm thinking of a new subtitle: Reflectionary, where the lectionary has a "come to Jesus" moment with my life.

I've always resisted the notion of faith-based diet plans, in part because they seemed to come from a more theologically conservative point of view, both in terms of how we perceive God and in terms of assessing women's ultimate purpose. Their God micromanages too much. Their notion of women's worth has more to do with relationships to men than to anything else. These are my opinions, and your mileage may vary.

"All things are lawful for me." This sort of thought went through my head on Friday when Pure Luck and I met his BFF for lunch. We went to our favorite local place (MB, RDM, Ruby, reverendmother have all been there with me), and I ordered my favorite thing, the Thai Tempura Veggie Roll-up.

Now, there are many worse things on the menu at the place we call "The Bear," for short. Many, many worse things. And I chose the mini-salad instead of the delicious fries as a side dish, and I had it with balsamic vinaigrette that I carefully sprinkled on the delicious greens. It may be that this meal can be supported by a thoughtful Weight Watchers member, using weekly and activity points, and some of it even counted as vegetables and healthy oils. The wrap is full of lettuce and shredded carrots in addition to the tempura veggies and the *gasp* really wonderful peanut sauce.

But on the menu there are other choices, listed with all their ingredients and calories, and you can get a great big salad with a grilled chicken breast and a very few skinny tortilla strips with fat free honey mustard dressing, and that is delicious, too.

However.

I *love* the Thai Tempura Veggie Roll-up. I want to be able to eat it when we go there.

So I did (see above). And I had all my mental ammunition ready as to why it was a legitimate choice, and what the ramifications were, and I didn't finish the wrap part when I felt full. All good.

All good except that after the meal, I felt regret. I felt regret because I knew there were skinny choices on the menu.

The problem is not the thing I ordered. The problem is in my head. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be dominated by peanut sauce or tempura vegetables, either before or after. I can choose that meal again–no doubt, I will, we go there often, and as previously stated, I *love* it–but I will also choose the context. And the context will be respectful of the body and the mind and the spirit God gave me. The context will be within the parameters of the commitments I have made to myself, not with a feeling of guilt that will have me snuffling around the kitchen looking for dessert to sweeten the sour the minute I get home.

I may learn that I cannot eat this at all, that it triggers something for me.

Paul goes on to write about fornication, but what I'm talking about is a kind of fooling around in your own head, fooling yourself, or trying to, messing up what is a good gift: life.

All things are lawful for me, but not all things are beneficial. I get the message. Thanks.

8 thoughts on “Or Do You Not Know?”

  1. This post is resonating with me so, so much. More than I can appropriately write about without claiming too much comment space. But I’m there with you, friend.
    Pax, C.

  2. I know this is NOT the point—but this post so makes me want to go there again–and get the Thai Tempura Veggie Rollup (sorry).
    And it is a great post, too–things I need to think about.

  3. I’ve never really worried about meals in terms of calories…I have spent a lot of time considering food from the perspective of balance – am I balancing protein, dairy, grains, vegetables and fruit? Funny, isn’t it, the things we worry about regarding food.

  4. I am seriously obese (wow! I actually used that horrible word.) Sometimes I want to do something about it, other times I don’t. What I struggle with is the way food dominates my life — either because it’s avoiding what I can’t eat, or because I eat too much of what I shouldn’t eat. When I do WW or some other diet, food dominates my life in the planning of what I will eat. When I don’t diet, I feel terrible about myself and again food dominates. Now I’ll have to think about this message.

  5. I think you’re touching on what Paul was talking about here. It’s not so much the fornication; it’s anything that becomes more than what it should be. Something tells me that in his day, old Paul had no idea what a tempura roll-up was or how yummy it could be.
    I’m convinced it’s not the food – it’s the way it makes us feel, the way we use easily accessible food to replace the harder gifts of love and mercy. I can’t order mercy as easily as I can stop in the drive thru and pick up a whopper, large fries and a chocolate shake (wow – did I just identify my tempura roll-up?).
    *sigh* Lawful, not beneficial. But, oh, so tempting. 🙂

  6. oh, this is so good and so timely.
    i have really really really bad sleep habits. if I was up drinking all night, instead of surfing facebook until 1 in the morning I wouldnt put up with it in myself.
    So tonight, I set my cell phone alarm to go off at 9:30 (warning) and 9:45 (get ready for bed). In the 15 minute interval, I came over and read this.
    OK, I get the message, too. I’m going to brush my teeth now.

  7. Go, juniper!
    Scott, it’s good to know what your roll-up is. Having worked on these issues for a year, recently, I eliminated some of them from my general pattern of living, but oddly enough, new ones appeared! I’m thinking this is me, not the foods. What think you?

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