I choose to.

Our friend has changed her eating in very significant ways. But it’s not that she can’t eat certain foods. It’s that she chooses not to. For the sake of her health and for her life and for her family.

The choice feels pretty extreme. The options seem boring, eventually. Because there aren’t premade options that conform to the choices she is making, she has to prepare almost every meal.

imageHer choices are about life.

I understand that using the language of choice rather than the language of obligation is, in fact, a choice. But I also understand that there is freedom in this language. She could blame others for her situation. She could focus on the restriction. Instead, she focuses on the freedom from current medication and future complications.

At times I have conversations about the restrictions that seem to exist around faith. Particularly around the focused faith I have in relationship with Christ. People in traditions around me have added layers of obligation. Although some of those obligations are a result of interpretations of interpretation, some come from Christ’s mouth and Spirit and are quite specific.

We are told to forgive. We are told to stay married. We are told to not desire what is not our own for our own pleasure. We are told to not call our brother names. We are told that we cannot worship until we reconcile with those who are mad at us. We are told to not retaliate. We are told to offer more than is asked of us.

These could feel like tremendous obligations which must be met to stay out of hell, to keep God happy with us.

But maybe I don’t have to love my enemies and pray for those who persecute my sisters and brothers.

Maybe I can choose to.

It’s about life.

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And yes, the pizza in the photo fits within her choices. Cheese and coconut flour crust.

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About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of 300wordsaday.com. I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.

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