So for Lent I decided to give up diet Pepsi, refined sugar, and wheat. For the most part. I mean I’m not all fundamentalist about it. So I still eat some “Light n Fit” yogurt every day, which tastes too good not to probably have refined sugar in it. But I’ve scrupulously avoided looking at the ingredients and confirming, because I feel like the line has to be drawn somewhere. It’s “Light & Fit” for god’s sake. Shouldn’t that be good enough?
Anyway… I will also admit, I had some major slippage on Saturday when I went to the grocery store, tired and thirsty and alone and craving my wonderful diet Pepsi and grabbed a 20-ouncer less than a minute after walking in the door, swooped up a bottle from one of the coolers they keep by the cash registers, and drank it while I shopped, then bought another one to go, when I checked out.
I really hate this giving stuff up crap. But I’m doing it.
Doing it for my spiritual health and well being.
Oh yeah, and of course, I would never mind dropping 10 or 15 lbs. (I’ve gotten on the bathroom scale twice in the last week or so and so far my weight loss results have been quite disappointing, I’ve gotta say…)
On the spiritual health side…well, that’s felt a little disappointing to me so far too. I’m not sure what I was expecting. Or wanting exactly.
I have heard that if you let go of things that are perhaps just a tad too essential to you, essential as in “I can’t make it through my day, this hour, this grocery shopping experience, this next five minutes without you” essential, if you can stop holding on so desperately to the little gods in your life, there’s a chance…a good chance…God will show up. You’ll “feel God’s presence” more in your life, as us Christiany types have been heard to say. I’m not sure what that really means, honestly – feel God’s presence — because it’s hard to put words on stuff that you can’t touch and feel. In recovery circles they might call that “serenity” which seems a little more defined than God’s presence. Have I ever felt God’s presence? Well, yes, maybe… I’ve felt things, I feel things, occasionally, nothing you could measure on a Richter scale, nothing irrefutable and quantifiable, and nothing audible or visible. I’ve been around people who say God speaks to them sometimes. I don’t know what to think about that. A part of me is rolling my eyes. I don’t trust them. Another part is kind of jealous that God is such a sure thing for them.
I don’t believe in sure things.
So here I am.
Craving diet Pepsi and refined carbs and wishing I didn’t feel so anxious. Wishing I didn’t feel so alone and bereft most of the time. Wishing I had a greater sense that everything is going to be all right in my work today, with my kids and family, in this crazy world.
This morning, as I write this, my cat Scout is sitting in my lap – she is this warm, soft weight, resting on my belly, her head on my arm, and I was wondering, if in this moment, she might actually be God. Maybe things are that simple.
“Take off your shoes. You’re on holy ground,” God called out to Moses in Exodus 3 from a bush that was burning, but never consumed.
Maybe God decided to take up residence in my cat Scout this morning, instead of a burning bush. What if, today, this chair in my kitchen/TV room in the first suburb west of Chicago at 6:30 am, is my holy ground.
Luckily, I already have my shoes off.