Vegucated

What does it mean to live like Jesus?

That is a huge question, and I am trying to figure it out. I don’t know everything, but what I am sure of is that I want to try. I watched a Nooma video by Rob Bell that spoke about the ancient tradition of Rabbis picking and training new Rabbis. The idea is that the best of the best were chosen to enter an apprenticeship in which they followed the Rabbi around and learned to do everything they did. They ate when the Rabbi ate, slept when the Rabbi slept, visited, traveled, recited scripture, prayed, all when the Rabbi did. And as these Rabbis in training followed they would become covered in the dust kicked up from the sandy ground as it was kicked up by the Rabbi they followed. The hope was that they would so closely follow the Rabbi that they would be covered in his dust.

That is what I want. I want to follow so closely in the footsteps, and path of Jesus that I am covered in the dust. This means I need to examine every part of my life. My thoughts, my actions, it is all part of reflecting on my following of Jesus.

I need to break it down, because I can’t just change everything in a day. Somethings I may not even know how to change! I thought I would start with examining my eating. I eat a lot, and frankly not that well. I eat foods that are convenient, and think little about the greater impact they have on the world or my body. Part of this comes from my too busy life, part of it is the cultural push to consume too much sugar, calories, and fat, and part of it is simply because it is yummy. But what does the Bible offer up about this all?

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV: Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

1 Corinthians 3:16-17 ESV: Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.

Great. Now I realize how important this is. Basically every time I eat poorly, or make poor choices for my body I am saying I am  to God for the gift of my body, for my life. I am damaging and showing lack of concern for the temple of God. Suddenly what is going in my mouth matters so much more. Further more I need to start thinking about the impact on the rest of the world my eating is having. I need to be a good steward of my resources and of this earth. It isn’t going to be easy, but I need to change some things.

I already don’t eat gluten and dairy because of allergies. This isn’t that hard to do, but is really complicated when it comes to going to other people’s houses. How many more restrictions do I want on my eating? I decided to stop fighting it, and instead research.

My first research topic was the effects of what I eat on the world. I watched a movie on veganism. (http://www.getvegucated.com/) Veganism is a plant-based diet in which you do not consume products made from animals or by animals. My eyes were opened so widely. The damage of the meat industry on the world is huge. There are fifty-five square feet of rainforest destroyed for every quarter pound hamburger that comes from a cleared rainforest cattle farm (http://livinggreenmag.com/2013/02/07/mother-nature/how-cows-kill-rainforests-the-flip-side-of-an-all-beef-patty/). And this is happening all over the rainforest, because we are demanding huge amounts of meat in our diets and can’t sustain it all. In fact if the whole world became vegan, there would be plenty food to feed all of us in the world, because it takes less land to feed on a plant-based diet. (http://www.earthoria.com/global-hunger-the-more-meat-we-eat-the-fewer-people-we-can-feed.html)

People think about becoming vegan as being unhealthy, but really it isn’t. It is possible to get all of the vitamins and needed substances from plants. Some people have commented that Vegan is a bit extreme… but how can I keep eating meat when I know the impact of this on the whole world. How can I continue to live my life contributing to the destruction of rain forests and the starvation of children of God? Simply, I cannot.

I am going to start this journey. I am going to be a vegan. Let the prayers begin for this BBQ loving girl!

Step one… eat all the meat in the house. If I have already bought it, then it will be worse to waste it. So I will be on a meat diet for a bit.

Step two… go get some food I can eat. The key to being successful is not letting myself get so hungry that I “cheat.”

Step three… tell everyone I know, and pick the date. It looks like Sunday will be the day I start!

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Stirring In My Bones

I don’t really think I have been even living as human for years. I mean, I have been eating, and breathing, and walking around among people. No one would know any different, but I have been just getting by for a really long time. Between all the working and school, and other obligations, I have been constantly moving. I have forgotten how to be anything but this robot that gets tasks done.

And this is not to say that I haven’t liked all these busy things that have filled up my life. I have actually loved them. I have been blessed with a million great experiences and have been changed for the better in so many ways. It is just that I had so many things going on that my days became lists on a typed to do list, and color coded boxes on my calendar. I bounced from thing to thing, and filled in every second. People would constantly ask me how I was doing it all. My quote was always, “I will sleep when I am dead.” And this wasn’t to be a jerk, but I couldn’t tell them the truth. The truth is that I was barely doing it all and I was so exhausted I thought I wouldn’t make it through each day. I could tell them that, because I saw the end, and I needed to believe I could get there.

The end was school graduation. And in December I received my Masters in Divinity. I loved Seminary, but having this completed meant I had the qualifications to follow my passion. It was always a means to an end. I felt God had a mission for me, and I needed to jump through the hoops to get there. The hoops are important, but my passion is in what is beyond them. And graduating, that is what started the stirring…

I have felt called to ministry for a long time, but this deep stirring, this pulsing through my veins. This is new. I can’t really explain what it all means. I feel urgency. I feel pushed toward something. I want to soak in the Scriptures. I want to pray for hours. I want to shake people and ask, “What do you think it means to be a Christian? Are you following Jesus? Don’t you see how important this is?” There is something I am being led to do. I don’t know what it looks like. I don’t know where my next step is, but I am trying to be open. Taking a deep breath in, and asking God for guidance. I know only that I want to be part of this irresistible revolution to teach people to live like Jesus, to love like Jesus. I am just an ordinary person, nothing special, but I am moved to be a radical. I want to show the world that God is love, through Jesus we have hope, and all we need is faith.

So here is my journey… whatever it is to become. May God use me for God’s work in this world.

Amen.

 

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