Last night I had a hard time eating dinner. My favorite fallback meal of pan-fried eggs & kale seemed oddly bitter and left a bad aftertaste. It must have been a strong batch of kale?
This morning I had a hard time eating breakfast. My quinoa porridge was really bitter and left a bad aftertaste. I tasted each element to try to pinpoint the offender. Quinoa, coconut milk, flax meal, frozen wild blueberries, coconut oil, walnuts, pumpkin seeds. Each bite was just as bitter as the other. The kids demanded my attention and the investigation was derailed.
Lunch was a quick goat gouda sandwich. Bitter, bitter, bitter, and such a bad aftertaste. But it was time to prepare dinner so I had to force it down and get cooking.
I had trouble cooking dinner. As I tasted and re-tasted the strangely bitter goat yogurt and curry mix for our Chicken Divan dinner, I finally saw the trend. Don’t laugh. It really did take me 24 hours to realize. It’s not the food that is bitter. It’s my tasting that is bitter. Somehow my taste buds are off! Everything is bitter! Even the chocolate I just shoved in my mouth to test my theory. What is going on?!
Oh. My new treatment. An odd tasting remedy I’m to partially dissolve under my tongue for a minute and then swallow with a large glass of water. An odd tasting pill. Pungent. Bitter. (Too bad I’m to take it twice a day for the next six weeks. Six weeks of food not tasting good? I just died a little.)
My whole system has been affected. And I had no idea. I had harshly judged the food as the problem, when the problem actually was with me.
_ _ _
Not a subtle metaphor here! I’m seeing an important reminder and truth. When something doesn’t seem good, or right, or what it should be… it is so natural and easy to assume the problem is with someone else. It’s so easy to cast blame and fail to see that we are the ones who have the problem.
Tonight I’m reflecting. I’m specifically thinking about some areas of my life I’m dissatisfied with. Things that stir bitterness in my heart. Situations that leave a bad taste. People who are hard to palate. Things that I’ve judged. Things that I’ve criticized. And I’m asking the Holy Spirit to open my eyes to see the true source of problems. I do not want to be a shortsighted, foolish person who makes a habit of jumping to conclusions based on my own wisdom and experience!
This is such a basic human lesson to learn. And yet it’s something that gets lost in the busyness and consumerism of our culture. And so quickly we stop owning our part. We point fingers. We expect others to change. We forgot how to be humble and growing. We stop being open to the refining work of the Holy Spirit. And bitterness becomes our constant flavor. What a terrible path to walk.
I’ll be thinking about it a lot in the six weeks to come. (Also, just in case I can stop taking this horrid tasting treatment, I’m calling my doc first thing in the morning!)
“It’s the way you’ve lived that’s brought all this on you. The bitter taste is from your evil life. That’s what’s piercing your heart.” (Jeremiah 4:18 MSG)
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. (Psalm 139:23-24 NLT)