Grace: It's Our Way of Life

As Episcopal Christians we
Worship at home daily and together weekly;
Study the Scriptures, our tradition, and what it means to be a disciple today;
Serve our families, our parish, and our world in the name of Christ.

Everything we do is done with an ethic of Welcome
because we are only here by Grace.

01 May 2013

Barefoot in the Kingdom: On Change

  Well, Gracians, I can't begin to tell you how sad I am that I am giving up another week to the Rev. Kathryn King of great core biblical texts, but I am headed off to CREDO.  Actually, Kathryn will do an amazing job.  If you haven't, go back and listen to her Easter II sermon here on the blog.

  This is not a full sermon, just an observation after the past few weeks about relationships and growth.  I touched on this in Sunday's sermon, but only just a touch.  We all know that real change will have an effect on our relationships, and in some cases that keeps us from actually pursuing the good.

  For example, I love biscuits.  I spent years perfecting my recipe, loving my dad's recipe, and now loving my wife's amazing biscuits.  I like them best with eggs and sausage and cheese, but also with honey or preserves.  I love biscuits.  The idea of actually cutting out breads always meant that I would have to give up my favorite breakfast food.  When Lent came this past year, I gave up wheat for the first time ever, and it was biscuits that I longed for at Easter.  I have always avoided the idea of giving up wheat because I love biscuits.

  When I started prepping for this sermon series back during Epiphany, I started reading about wheat; and then with family health issues showing up, my reading got more intense and technical.  Let me be blunt.  Wheat is not all that great.  White flour may be really killing us.  Whole wheat flour is world's better, as you can imagine, but it is still less than ideal.

  Let me explain.  White flour becomes, like other processed foods and potatoes, an immediate simple carbohydrate in the digestive system and subsequently in the blood stream.  It becomes sugar.  Sugar feels good and rushes around in there until the body releases insulin to neutralize it and store it in cells; guess which ones.  That cycle leads to immediate euphoria and mild inflammation.  Then a crash that causes us to crave the next rush.  Cutting out processed sugars and white flour has been a revelation these last few months.

  At first, it was a sad revelation.  I felt like most people feel when they read John's Revelation.  It was terrible, but then came some deeper realizations.  I read more, learned more, and had to make a decision after Easter.  Was it worth it to keep my limits on wheat and processed food?

  Now, I love biscuits, but I feel so much better, and my clothes fit better.  My wife is happy.  But, is it worth biscuits?

  A funny thing begins to happen when you get to a certain indefinable point into a life change: your relationships to things not originally in the change equation begin to change.  Case in point, I did not intend to change breakfast when I changed my running and weights routine, but suddenly I am eating a salad with my eggs and no biscuits.  Biscuits have become a treat.

  Often we don't stick to changes for long enough to see real changes.  The transitions are hard, and so we begin to slide backwards or compensate.  This is the moment when we choose to not be a faithful disciple.

  Faithful followership calls us through those difficult spaces where are changes are out-pacing our support systems, and we have to grow into a whole new set of relationships.  These moments are brutal.  Ask anyone who has been through recovery or a life-altering event.  Everything changes and no one likes it.  Even if the change is good.

  That's why spouses are so often threatened by growth in their partner.  A wife starts to go to church and get involved and the husband starts undercutting that because stasis feels safer than being forced into a new relationship.

  I don't want wheat (most of the time) now, because I don't fly and crash so much.  And now, my habits around snacking and meals are starting to change.  It isn't easy, but that relationship is getting easier.  But it is harder to please the kids with daily eggs instead of Heart to Heart cereal.

  One day at a time.