Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Adventure Day 3 – I tried something new!!!

Ok so today began to play out like an ordinary day. I wasn’t sure how much adventure I would end up experiencing, but little did I know the craziness that would ensue.

Mama and Pop were up to visit today and they offered to take me out for a quick lunch. I couldn’t really go to a new restaurant as it wasn’t in the plans, but I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to try something new. Now, looking back I would’ve done things a bit differently as I was a bit rushed (we walked in right after they opened and there were literally 5 sets of eyes eagerly awaiting our order). We were at a fast food restaurant and I so badly wanted to get what I always got but knew I’d made a commitment to try new things so I did. I ordered a hamburger combo, with iced tea instead of pop. Wow!! Epic, eh?!

Sounds ordinary doesn’t it? Well if you only knew that I NEVER order hamburgers, like ever, you’d know that it was indeed a big deal. The only thing I was disappointed with was that I ordered it how I always had my hamburgers at home (just ketchup). I was immediately mad at myself and my non-living-dangerously (ok I realize that ordering a hamburger with the works isn’t exactly living dangerously but stay with me here). However, I do realize that I did this only because I hadn’t had enough time to think it through. Oh well, as Wally reminded me earlier, there will likely be another chance to try something new and I will definitely do better – but at least I took a baby step.

The consensus? I liked it and it was way cheaper than chicken – I ALWAYS order chicken. In fact I almost cheated and got a different kind of chicken because it would have been new, but I didn’t. And I learned that I like Wendy’s hamburgers. And iced tea is great if you just want something to sip and not feel like a balloon afterwards. I’m can’t wait to see what I’ll try next. Not every experience has to be deep.

Ok so I have another interesting story about Mama and Pop’s visit today. With them they brought some of Wally and mine’s favourite chocolate – a lot actually. I knew they were bringing me something, but I was not aware of the two other items for Wally. EEK!!! What was I going to do with 3 assortments of chocolate on my 40 day fast from the drug? Well, I was saved in a way, because I had a staff meeting right after our visit and I had already decided I would take mine there and so I called Wally up to check with him. I knew he would say to keep two of each kind out for him and take the rest – so I did. I also made a decision that many would say was ‘breaking the rules’ of my 40 day adventure. I took one of each chocolate (3 in total) and saved them for myself for later.

Now I mentioned before that I knew these were coming. I had decided that I couldn’t just give the whole batch away without at least a taste, and this is for reasons that may surprise you. It wasn’t because I couldn’t live without the chocolate, but because I felt guilty giving away a gift meant for me without even enjoying a bit of it. I knew doing that would make me feel guiltier than not having any at all. The cool part was that by doing this I felt free to enjoy an appropriate amount of it AND give the rest away without hesitation of either.

This brings me to something I’ve been thinking about a lot in the past week and I think I need to bring up now. It’s about living by the Spirit versus living by the Law. (I’m sorry for anyone that feels ‘out of the loop’ but I’ll try my best to explain). In Biblical terms, to live by the Law means you basically just follow the rules and that’s it, just keep behind the line. To follow the Spirit of the Law means understanding why the Law is there (for our best, as well as others’) and living it out because you want to honour God, yourself and others in how you live. When you are living the Spirit of the Law there really are no more laws to worry about, in it we are given the freedom to discern what we should do and what we shouldn’t, in whatever situations we face. This often makes things far more difficult because you are then responsible to decide what ‘too far’ is. There are no longer any lines to cross; instead you are left to rely on the Spirit to reveal truth and conviction.

This is not to say that we cannot still use laws or rules to help direct us in the grand scheme but we are now given the opportunity to perhaps experience things that were ‘absolutely nots’ before. For example: I was raised that drinking was wrong – all of it, there was no room at all for any kind of alcohol. So, as I grew up and saw people with a beer or a glass of wine I immediately thought they were drunk people. I am assuming this ‘rule’ came from a verse in the Bible that says ‘do not become drunk on wine but instead be filled with the Spirit’. Unfortunately this verse was taken to the extreme and a rule was created because someone thought that no amount of alcohol would be safe since there were some who abused it. However that was never said at all. We are told not to be DRUNK, that’s all - in other words don’t be a boozer.

If we take this scenario and apply it to living by the Spirit of the Law we are more than welcome to enjoy alcohol (in fact Jesus had his fair share and used His gifts to liven the party at least once), we just need to watch ourselves with how much we consume. However I have to say it is much easier to know you are doing the right thing if you just don’t do anything. Couldn’t you apply this to many things? Dancing, drinking, giving to the poor (heaven forbid if we give MORE than we are asked), swearing (what classifies swearing?), friendships with the opposite sex when you are married (are they allowed?), eating (what’s good and what’s bad?) and the list could go on and on and on.

The reason I bring this up is that for once I have decided that I want to complete this list of 40 things in 40 days not as an obligation, not as a to do list to be done, not just so that I can say I succeeded at what I set out to do. I began this list because I want to teach myself to expand my horizons a little bit. I want to re-learn how to make decisions, even the littlest ones. The ones that seem insignificant, but when you change how you make them you realize you may like something different than you thought. If you always do the same things you’ve always done, but can’t remember why, you’ll never know what you could be missing out on. It would be easy for me to say: ‘No chocolate for 40 days, period’, but that’s not the point. The spirit behind it is for me to have my other senses heightened, not to condemn myself to alienation from what I enjoy or what others are enjoying – that would be contrary to the point of this exercise. I hope you understand that I am still pursuing my #1 but it is with some discretion. I want to go with the flow and really allow the Spirit to convict and draw me closer to where God would have me be (ok I’m laughing a little at myself and how deep I got with the chocolate issue here).

It would be far easier for me, truly, to just go with the rule in this case, but that won’t teach me how to live …. And that’s exactly what I am trying to do here …learn how to live. No wait, I mean …… LIVE!

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