I watch an interaction last week that lingers in the back of my mind. Everything was monitored, closely! If one reached for that, a question was asked. If one was enjoying a bite, a fear was voiced. It was as if there was a health test to everything. While I enjoy reading labels, this was a bit much for me. I know the driver was love, yet I couldn’t help but wonder if a better response was something with less questions and information.
Members of many spiritual reviews have tests for right and wrong. While potentially helpful, I often find that they miss the mark. The only way I know to describe my fear is the following statement. Tests may help one avoid potential pitfalls. However, tests rarely help one reach anything more.
A guide offered an alternative approach. “Eat anything sold at the butcher shop, for instance; you don’t have to run an ‘idolatry test’ on every item. ‘The earth,’ after all, ‘is God’s, and everything in it.’ That ‘everything’ certainly includes the leg of lamb in the butcher shop.” (1 Corinthians 10.26)
Perhaps it is time to offer a fresh approach. What would life look like if we reached for health? Does life look different if we always looked to our communities for help? How does our view of others change if we realize and respect the fact that they are children of Divinity?
I think of a conversation at a coffee shop on Olive. In the space given to others, I found myself listening to wisdom. While opening up their heart for insight, someone with life ahead of them offered me the gift of friendship and support. The interaction filled me with hope. It also reminded me that we are stronger because of our differences. The potential of more begins with the space we allow for the other.
Today is about what comes next. Will I revert to the past, applying tests to every possible option? Is there an alternative? How will I choose, and learn? Now is the time for something fresh.