It is with great difficulty and humiliation that I confess: I am a fussy, difficult and contradictory eater.
It all came crashing down one afternoon at a family occasion. Everyone was doing the round of who would like what with their bread roll, a coffee, a tea, or a piece of slice and I became increasingly aware of my fussy appetite.
It wasn't until my friend butted in exclaiming "She is ridiculous! She eats stacks of tuna out of a can, yet hates fish! Absolute contradiction". Only then did I realise I have a problem.
And it's all so true. I hate fish, yet eat tuna out of a can. I hate oranges, yet love mandarins. I hate mayonnaise, yet on a sandwich it's sometimes okay. I won't eat an apple, but a nectarine is alright. And don't even think about putting dark blue milk in my tea, I WILL notice and be mortified.
I've always known this about my eating, I'm aware and not one bit ashamed. And what's worse... I'm reluctant to change. At age 23, I'm already set in my ways.
They (some wise old folks) say there are three things we can be sure of in this world: taxes, death and change.
The first two sound awfully morbid and serious but the last gives me the sweaty shakes. Timely, as I have just made one of the biggest changes to my lifeâI have a new name. Oh, and I'm married.
Change brings variation, excitement and new opportunities. But we hate change. We try our best to resist it
What needs to change?
A recent discussion brought to light the various 'messages' young adults are bombarded with every day: "You're more special than the person next to you", "If it's broken, give up", "Your success is measured by your wealth", and my personal favourite, "You are the centre of your universe".
These messages infiltrate our daily life through advertising, conversations, educational institutions, and my ultimate weak spot, the entertainment sector. I'm still relatively convinced Johnny Depp would be the key to my happiness.
These messages live loud and have infiltrated further than we can comprehend. I often wonderâare these messages controlling our day to day life? And further, how much of these narcissist worldviews are penetrating our church culture? I think we would be sadly surprised.
Allowing these messages to permeate our lives leads us to focus on our needs, our wants, our happiness, and only ours. We often disregard the needs of others. All the while we are creating a kind of 'Santa Claus Jesus' to call on at our convenience.
I find it pretty painful when I stop and think about all this. Cringe.
I faintly remember... I've soaked up the wrong story.
A far greater story
The amalgamation of polarised stories has led to conflicting messages being generated in our church culture. On one hand we have an advertisement explaining Coca Cola is 'happiness in a bottle' and if we don't get our 'fix' our happiness is lost.
We have churches saying, 'if you don't come every week to get your fix of worship disguised as pop music, have some shallow banter and listen to the motivational sermon, then you're not really a good Christian are you?'
It is subliminal messages of climbing a ladder to reach the ultimate Christian level that make me cringe. I'm clearly still only on level 1 or 2. I'll also probably stay there as I refuse to climb the ladder.
Although hard to stomach, the good news is this: There is someone who is the centre of the universe and he's called Jesus. He has given you a clean slate, drenches you in redemptive love and never gives up on you. Now that's what I called spoiled. He climbed down the ladder so we didn't have to climb up it. He always knew we never could. That is some really, really, great news.
This is a far greater story than being a slave to yourself and facing endless disappointment when you realise don't look like the fun-loving surfer with all the chicks hanging around.
Money can't buy you deep-seated happiness. No, Jesus definitely offers a far greater reward and worldview. I dare you to look into it. You'll just have to stop staring at your reflection in the mirror.
His story is a great story. So great that sometimes we need to swallow our pride and accept the change he is presenting us with; the change to think about someone other than ourselves, the change to allow his love to guide our life, the change to let his word and wisdom lead us.
These changes are not arbitrary claims but a real story which can bring great freedom.
The challenge is this: we need to change the story we're driven by
We need to accept that temporary pleasures are ultimately disappointing. We need to realise hope is the realisation of this change Jesus offers. A change that is exciting, enthralling and, well, for our benefit.
Go on, you may surprise yourself.
In the meantime, I'll be working on learning to like oranges, or fish, or apples, or mayonnaise, or milk... who knows, embracing this change could catapult a whole new range of eating experiences. WIN. Plus, with a new name I'm on a roll!
Chloe Ogilvie is a full-time dance teacher and business owner who enjoys writing as a hobby.
Chloe Ogilvie's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/chloe-ogilvie.html