I am on the Keto diet.
Unless someone puts a French fry in front of me.
Or a piece of garlic, parmesan toast.
Or onion rings.
Or chicken strips.
Or…you get the point.
On Keto, I am to fill my plate with kale, spinach, zucchini, a couple of hard-boiled eggs (which are just nasty) and some blanched almonds (also on the nasty list). Then I top all of that nonsense with a drizzle of olive oil. Yuck! Why don’t I just suck on a blade of poison ivy and call it good? Same difference.
Let’s face it. Discipline is hard work, even though it is the magic sauce that helps us get where we want to be. In college, I was one of the most disciplined gals in my sorority. When many of my friends skipped class to hang out at the bar and play the card game Pitch, I was frantically scribbling notes and asking questions and contemplating potential test questions. Play cards instead of being in a classroom? Not on my radar.
I have always been a disciplined employee. Show up early. Work harder than required. Take work home with me. My mother never preached that message, but she sure did demonstrate it, so I credit her with modeling for my two brothers and me how to be responsible.
In an odd way, being disciplined allows me to take steps to better myself…to feel as if I’m in control of my future. And that means never giving up. Pablo Casals was considered the greatest cellist to ever live. When he was 95 years old, he was asked why he continued to practice six hours a day. “Because I think I am making progress,” he answered. Of course, he wasn’t starving himself on Keto, so that comparison sure falls flat.
The aim of Christian discipline is to tame your body, soul and spirit in the way of godliness. 1 Corinthians 10:13 is a reminder that I have a Helper waiting to support me with my eating habits. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation, he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. In my case, I can substitute the word “craving” for “temptation” and be consoled that this is a battle I can win.
My problem is that I’ve never met an unhealthy food I didn’t like. And yes, I know that I need to put my faith where my food is, but won’t I hurt people’s feelings at the church potluck if I don’t at least “try” their goodies? And should I invite new Christians over for dinner and feed them wheat grass and beets? Are you feeling my pain?
A few weeks ago, I was to meet a saint-of-a-friend who was visiting from another state. We settled on Common Ground, and I asked if noon was okay so we could have lunch. I shouldn’t have been surprised by her response: “Oh, Patty, let’s just feast on the word of God.” My response shouldn’t have surprised her: “Can’t we do both?”
My friend had put John 6:27a (NLT) into practice: But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you.
I’ll let you know how this Keto thing works out. So far, not so good…but there’s always tomorrow.