Wednesday, April 29, 2015

People change

Yesterday I said I'd try to write this, but today I spent a long time writing something else, and now I have less than an hour.

I used to have a soap box about how to feed kids.  I probably said that wrong, but what I mean is that it made me crazy when the mom of some two-year-old would say, "Brittany doesn't like applesauce."  Seriously.  She's two.  Two.  She thinks she doesn't like applesauce today, or she's feeling ornery and refusing applesauce whether she likes it or not.  If a child knows there will always be chocolate milk and gummi bears if she holds out long enough, obviously she isn't going to try new foods or admit to liking them.

Kids' tastes change.  I remember as a kid, sometimes orange juice tasted good.  I drank it as long as it tasted good.  One day it would not taste so good.  Then I'd switch to apple juice.  I'd drink apple juice as long as it tasted good.  Conveniently, usually when apple juice stopped tasting good, orange juice started tasting good again.  When I hit adolescence, everything tasted good.  I remember sitting down to dinner and being amazed that every dish my mother had prepared was delicious, when only a few months ago I had been picking my way around my plate trying to find something I could chew without gagging.

Kid's tastes change, and when you are trying to teach them to eat, your best bet is to introduce a variety of foods, but don't give any reaction when they don't like something.  Never tell them that they don't like something.  Just say, "Oh, doesn't that taste good to you today?" and then put it away and don't offer it again until a few weeks or months have passed.  There are some things that they will legitimately dislike and you should not try to force them to eat those things!  But, seriously, you should never reinforce to them that they don't like something.  If you don't convince them otherwise, they might very well enjoy it next year when Aunt Anna serves it at the family reunion.

(There is no need to avoid convincing them that they dislike asparagus.  The less people who like asparagus, the more for me.)

So.  That's my advice on how to develop better eaters.  That, and plant a vegetable garden and let them eat sun drenched vegetables as they pick them outside, right there in the yard. 

But the reason I brought it up is to illustrate that people change.  They do.  Nobody is static.  People are not rocks, or mountains, or boat anchors.  And, for that matter, even rocks and mountains and boat anchors can change.  Due to the second law of thermodynamics, everything in the Universe is tending toward some sort of decay.  Even rocks.  You see it where they erode from water or wind.

People tend toward decay as well, both physically and spiritually.  The physical decay is unavoidable.  But spiritual decay can be reversed--not halted, but reversed--and this is the plan God had for us when He sent Christ.  This is the meaning of everlasting life.  Jesus is the bread of life, and He is the Word of God.  Moses said that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.

When we feed on Christ, we grow in spiritual wisdom and beauty. When we shut Christ out of our lives, we atrophy to selfishness, loneliness and destruction.

People change.  In fact, people are constantly changing.  Just yesterday, a friend of mine said, "I've realized the importance of never assuming that I have arrived.  I will always need to cling to the Lord and learn and grow.  I will never be able to say that I've figured it all out where God is concerned, that I'm set and I can put my Bible away now."

This is true, and we must remember it.  We will discuss it some more tomorrow.  For now, remember: You are changing.  Are you growing closer to Jesus, or farther from Him?  You are surely doing one or the other.

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