Brussels sprouts and loofas

God promises to do something new (Isaiah 43:19), and I believe the promise. I have been praying to be open to the something new God wants for me, but I sometimes wonder how God can do something new if I am clinging tenaciously to the old.

So I have also been praying to be more aware of what I am holding onto and where I am resistant to change.

The prayer seems to be working; almost every day I am aware that I am being resistant to something. I catch myself saying, “I don’t like…” or “I don’t do…” or “I don’t eat…” or some other words which express that I am being obstinate.

For example, I tend to be fairly adventurous when it comes to trying different foods. My one disclaimer is that I don’t eat Brussels sprouts. (Ok, full disclosure, I also don’t eat those baby chicks on a stick they sell in the Philippines, and I get a bit queasy about some of the greens I have had in Africa, but otherwise, I am willing to try just about anything.)

A few weeks ago at dinner with a friend, she suggested we share a Brussels sprout salad. “I don’t eat Brussels sprouts,” I said. She was willing to order a different salad, but the restaurant was known for this particular one, so I moved against my resistance and agreed to try it. I am not sure what they did to alter the taste, but these Brussels sprouts were very good and I actually enjoyed the salad.

Later that same week, I received a gift bag full of spa-type products, including a loofa. I have received loofas before, but not used them; I use wash cloths. This time, though, I decided to try the loofa. When I went to work and gushed about my discovery of the wonders of the loofa, my co-worker looked at me quizzically. She has been using loofas for a long time. “Why didn’t anyone tell me?” I asked. “Why didn’t I listen?” is probably the better question.

The habits, patterns and guidelines I have created to give structure to my life can lead to a rigid rejection of anything different. That which is familiar and comforting can get in the way of receiving the new that God is offering.

Whether it is trying a new food (or one I have previously decided I don’t eat) or trying a new endeavor or welcoming a new person into my life, whenever I hesitate or hear myself say no, I know I am  being resistant. My little resistances are signs that I am not free, that I am holding too tightly to something.

Every day, God offers me the opportunity to live my life in a different way. Brussel sprouts and loofas are just two steps along the path to freedom.

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10 thoughts on “Brussels sprouts and loofas

  1. annemarielom

    I enjoy the way you take everyday experiences and use them for self reflection and spiritual growth. I look forward to your posts and insights.

    Reply
  2. Karen

    Loved reading this, Madeline. I seriously didn’t know where you were going with the title of this blog, but it was very enlightening! Thanks for sharing! I still hate potatoes though!!

    Reply
  3. Jane Banik

    I was taken to dinner in a wonderful restaurant in Italy and asked to try this special appetizer. I did without knowing what I was eating. When I finished the dish, they told me that I had eaten lard. Had I known that before I ate it, I would without a doubt have declined to even taste it. Your blog reminded me of that day.

    Reply
  4. Natalie

    Just went back and read your recent string of posts. All good, and interesting reflections on your journey. It also reminded me that there is a phrase we haven’t used in a while. Does this mean that we will have to retire “whatever Madeline says” from the lexicon?

    Reply

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