Flipping the Negativity

by Jul 10, 2020Article

Flipping the Negativity

Then he took the five loaves and two fish, and looking up to Heaven, he blessed and broke them. He kept giving them to the disciples to set before the crowd. Everyone ate and was filled. They picked up twelve baskets of leftover pieces.
Luke 9:16-17

It was as he reclined at the table with them that he took the bread, blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them.
Luke 24: 30

 

As the pandemic has continued, and things still aren’t back to “normal,” I’ve been trying to focus on gratitude. Flipping my negativity to gratefulness changes my perspective. I don’t like the changes in grocery stores, however I am grateful for so many other options. Seeing empty shelves isn’t comforting. Following directional signage, covering my face and not being able to smile or interact with people feels strange and sad. I know these measures are necessary and I comply with the rules. I just don’t like the way they makes me feel.

These feelings, in addition to added time, have allowed me to think about other ways to get our food. My family has slowed things down and taken a step back. We ordered half a cow and half a pig from a local farm and had it butchered. Our freezer is stocked. My daughter and son-in-law, who moved in with us in March, planted a huge garden. We now are reaping the harvest of fresh, organically grown produce. They learned how to bake bread in their spare time. Since I have a lot more time on my hands, I’ve changed some of my shopping habits. I visit the local farmer’s market on the weekends and I make bi-weekly trips to a local farm for milk and other homemade goodies. It feels good. I’m still socially distancing and wearing a face covering, but something about being outside, closer to nature, feels better.

At the same time, our mealtimes have also changed. Everything is simplified. We eat most of our meals outside on the porch or on picnic tables in the yard. Twinkling lights hang in their strings from the trees. My flower arrangements are fresh hydrangeas clipped from our yard, displayed in mason jars. It is simple. It is good.

I can’t help but think of the importance of our food. The importance of what we put into our bodies is connected to our health. Is the food I’m eating helping my body to be healthy and strong?

The slowing down has also led to me thinking about the importance of family meals. Sitting together, sharing the ups and downs of our days, laughing together, encouraging each other and simply being present. All of these things are modeled over and over in Jesus’ life and ministry. Some of it is cultural. It’s just how things were done in his day. But I wonder, if there are important insights we can gain from His meals.

Who did he eat with? Jesus ate with those closest to him. Sometimes there were additional people, sometimes there weren’t. Sometimes the additional people were hosts, sometimes the additional people were those who were considered “outsiders” – tax collectors and sinners.

When, where and what did he eat? In Jesus’ time there was one main meal of the day and other meals were smaller. He often ate as a guest in other’s homes. Other times the meal was shared with thousands…the feeding of the crowds. He didn’t just tell them there He was for them all, He showed them. He at fresh, local, seasonal food. Because that was the only option.

Lord, thank you for this opportunity to change our perspective. Help us to be grateful for the everyday blessings in our lives.

What happened during the meals? Jesus often engaged others during the meals and taught through relationships and conversation.

I encourage you, to flip some of the negatives brought about by the pandemic. Consider if you can make one of these negatives into a positive. Can you sustain this change going forward?

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