Last week we got home from our trip to Ohio. We had a wonderful time visiting Emma and Hollie’s parents. We celebrated Zoe’s birthday, visited the Columbus Zoo, and just had a great time outdoors. It was neat to watch our older girls overcome their fear of swimming in the pond on top of the hill. Initial fear melted away into having a fun time. The little ones really enjoyed being outside and it felt good to get into their hot tub again.
Overall, it was a great trip…except for the fact that I had this on-and-off stomach illness the whole time. One day I’d be fine and then the next day I would suffer from that nagging stomach pain. About a month prior, I had picked up a stomach bug. Or was it food poisoning? In fact, I had such an episode two weeks in a row. Ever since that point, my stomach hasn’t been the same. As soon as we got back from the trip, Hollie and I decided that it was time to make some serious changes to our diet. Stop eating junk. Start eating real food, especially food that isn’t loaded with genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Here we go. Let the controversy unleash. Even in Christian circles (perhaps especially), this is a huge issue of debate. Honestly, I don’t think it needs to be. I think the controversy exists because we’re immersed in a 21st century, industrialized food system which is now the norm for Western nations. In conservative Christian circles, we’ve grown up with these assumptions that anyone who advocates eating clean, real food is just a liberal hippie who lives outside reality.
I’m not going to get into a full-fledged theological argument about this (at least not on this particular post), but suffice to say we ought to prefer to live in God’s reality–the reality in which He called His creation good. And while I fully acknowledge that everything was affected by the fall of humanity, that doesn’t mean God’s creation ceased to be good. Nor does it mean that we should assume every one of man’s inventions is inherently good. We need to be sober-minded and balanced in our thinking. This issue is no exception.
So we’re trying to eat as best we can. As a family, we want to take seriously the truth of 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. If our bodies are indeed not our own, then we should take care of them to our utmost ability. We talk about being good stewards of our homes and finances, so why not our bodies? I have a gut problem right now. At least that’s what it seems to be. Does God care about my gut problem? Absolutely. The sicker we get, the less effective we are as servants of His kingdom. This is where theology gets very practical.
We’re going buy more organic and non-GMO foods. We’re going to get more of our food from the local farmers’ market (which is also another opportunity to pass along Gospel tracts). We also want take more trips into nature and enjoy more of God’s creation. Last year we took a family trip into the Blue Ridge Mountains and hiked some of the trails. We were tired after the fact, but I think we felt better than we had in a long time. It’s good physically and it’s good for the soul. A big part of enjoying God is enjoying His creation, remembering that everything points back to Him.
You can do this without being legalistic. Is every morsel of food that we consume going to be organic or locally produced? Certainly not. And that’s okay. Titus has dietary restrictions to be sure, but we’re not going to become a bunch of “food Nazis” and burn ourselves out. It’s about becoming more responsible stewards of our health and the bodies which the Lord has given us. We’re starting the initial steps toward better health and I’m already starting to feel better. I’m hopeful and I’m looking forward to better health.
I’ll certainly have more to say about this as time goes on. In fact, on our drive to and from Ohio, we listened to the audio version of Joel Salatin’s new book. At some point I’ll be writing a review on that book and offering additional thoughts. The people of God (especially in America) have neglected this topic for too long and we need to be thinking (biblically) about it. If we care about God’s common grace, then we’ll make room for this discussion.