I confess that I am a little afraid of a plate of spaghetti. A grilled cheese sandwich. A slice of pizza. Anything off a Chinese take-out menu.
I have been without gluten. dairy, and soy in my diet for over a year now. Not for myself, but for my son.* Now I find myself on the other side. Graham has achieved his Lenten goal of giving up breast milk more than a week before Easter!
So what do I do now? I know that I can have spaghetti, grilled cheese, pizza and Chinese food, but I’m still afraid to venture more than just a bite.
In Exodus, Moses frees the Israelites from slavery, and after the Crossing-of-the-Red-Sea Party, what does he hear? “Thanks, Moses, it’s great what you did, but we actually like it better in Egypt. Can we go back?”
What?! Go back? Why would anyone want to go back to slavery when all the promises of freedom are right in front of them?
For exactly the same reason I am afraid of spaghetti. There is great comfort in the things we know, whether they are good or bad. Systems theory calls this homeostasis. Literally ‘same status’. It is in our nature to keep things the same, even when there is something better out there.
Often, homeostasis can look deceptively good. If it isn’t broken, why fix it? However, under the surface, there may be pieces that have eroded causing a shaky foundation. Of course it’s okay to keep doing things the same way, as long as you know why.
I could continue to abstain from gluten, dairy, and soy. There’s nothing wrong with that. But if I did, I wouldn’t have any dessert at the Mission Dinner in a few weeks! I would miss out on tons of great food that I’ve been yearning for over the last year.
So I’m starting small. A slice of cake here, a fortune cookie there. Who knows, maybe I’ll take a bite of cheese tonight!
*In case you don’t know the story- my now 17-month-old son Graham is gluten/dairy/soy intolerant. Which also means his supply of milk had to come solely from me. When then meant I had to give up all gluten, dairy, and soy as well.