I had my annual physical the other week. Everything was normal. In fact, the nurse who called me praised my “extremely low” cholesterol ratio. (In typical Coleen fashion, I insisted she mail me a copy of my lab reports and then proceeded to obsess over each value. Where was it in the range? Did I need to adjust anything?) But really, everything was fine. Good, in fact. Healthy by every normally used definition. And, as a general statement, I feel healthy. (Yes, yes, I could use a more-enforced bedtime and more discipline for those early mornings, but I’m talking big-picture here, folks.) Yet, I just spent a half an hour looking at various diets (I mean ways of eating, not attempts to lose weight). Last week I printed out the It Starts with Food shopping list and read (again) about the Whole30 plan. I’ve added a paleo blog to my rss feed. Please ask me why.
Why? (Thanks for asking.) The quick is that I’m crazy. 🙂 The longer is that I sometimes think I have a bizarre personality trait that is unwilling to not stay open-minded, even if I have an opinion about things, even if I truly believe something to be true. I believe that junk food is bad for you, but show me enough studies showing its benefit and I might, maybe consider it. (Maybe. But I would add Cheez-Its back to my life.)
I think being open-minded is a good thing. I believe truth is discoverable, so I want to be someone who considers what to believe and is willing to face hard questions head-on. It isn’t to say that there isn’t faith in life, for there will always be places where we don’t have the answers and need to take a step forward anyway. What I find frustrating about myself, however, is my willingness to question myself nearly any time someone I trust comes up with an alternate perspective. Really, I should dramatically adjust my family’s diet because someone else finds an alternative diet interesting? Surely, I should stop eating any grains and compulsively examine how I feel after meals because someone else feels better without them? I fear I am robbing myself of joy in life by trying to make sure I haven’t made a mistake, when there was no indication I’d done so.
Bigger questions arise. If, heaven forbid, I make a mistake (dietary, parenting, schooling, or life choice), what does that mean to me? Does it mean that I’m shameful? Does it mean that I’m unworthy? Or does it just mean that I made a mistake? I tell my kids that mistakes are how we learn (and that my kids’ value remains totally unchanged by said mistakes). Can I extend equal grace to myself? Is there a way to remain open-minded but untossed by every wind that blows my way? I think I’ve got to look at the root issue: value. So today I claim this: I am fully and completely loved by God apart from my performance. There is nothing I can do to make God love me more or less than He does right now. Amen and amen.