As I mentioned in the previous post, I’ve been eating a limited number of foods for the past 15 weeks. 15 weeks comes to just under four months, which means I haven’t been able to eat the food served at Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas (or Christmas Eve), New Year’s Eve, or the Super Bowl. That list doesn’t even include regular meetings, parties, and meals with friends and family.
I’ve spent quite a bit of time looking for general principles of healthy eating to take from this season, so that I can continue on this journey. One thing I didn’t expect was to see how certain character traits that would be necessary. For instance, I had the revelation that I’d have to get comfortable with being the odd one out. Being left out is pretty much my worst nightmare, so you can imagine what it was like for me at times to be the only one without a heaping plate of delicious food. I need to be okay with it, even if it seems like no one else has been called to do what I’m called to do.
As I’ve continued my reading in Leviticus, I noticed this was exactly what God urged Israel to do:
1Then the Lord said to Moses, 2 “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. I am the Lord your God. 3 So do not act like the people in Egypt, where you used to live, or like the people of Canaan, where I am taking you. You must not imitate their way of life. 4 You must obey all my regulations and be careful to obey my decrees, for I am the Lord your God. 5 If you obey my decrees and my regulations, you will find life through them. I am the Lord. Leviticus 18:1-5
God gave Israel a whole slew of rules to follow that would make them stick out from the people around them. He told them, “I am the Lord YOUR God and you’re my people, so don’t do what everyone else is doing.” Following God would require taking a different path, but in verse 5 he gives an incredible reason why. “If you obey my decrees…you will find life…” Following is the path to life. In the end, all the trouble would be worth it. They would be people who were set apart for God’s purposes. They would be his people and he, their God.
The New Testament still calls God’s people to live lives that are markedly different from everyone else (1 Peter 1:16). This is exactly what God was calling me to do in getting healthier, but it can manifest itself in many ways: moving into a new area, breaking off a relationship, changing careers, taking a stand in front of friends, to name a few. No matter what it looks like, we are called to be his people first, no matter what the cost.
Alongside his challenge to live differently, I can hear God whispering words of comfort:
Even if you’re maligned, misunderstood, and alone
I am with you. Be mine.
When it feels like they’re against you,
I am for you. Be mine.
Even if it costs you everything,
I went ahead of you. Be mine.
Be mine and find life.