The other day at work the conversation turned to unusual foods and I was asked what the most unusual food I had ever eaten. Over the course of my military career and life in general I found myself in many countries, more often than not working closely with the locals in those countries. Most of the time we would eat what we were served and eventually they would serve some sort of specialty food they consider delicacies. I have been “fortunate” enough to eat many different things and I told them I wasn’t sure what would be the worst as I have had sea horse soup, thousand year old eggs, cat, dog, guinea pig, snakes, iguana, turtle, among other things as well as so many different fruits and vegetables that I couldn’t remember them all. There were more questions about all those different foods and were any gross was among them. Well, to be honest, some of those foods were not things I would go out of my way to eat, but none were really vile tasting or disgusting. But, as we talked, I remembered one instance when we were eating guinea pig we were being served in Ecuador. One of the others had eaten a couple of them as, well, he loved to eat, and was enjoying his meal and then asked what it was exactly. Now, he didn’t speak Spanish so I was translating. I asked the locals and they said it was conejillo which is similar to the word for rabbit, conejo. As I spoke with the locals I tried to clarify and found out that it was definitely not young rabbit and when I couldn’t fully understand what they meant by conejillo, they went into the kitchen and brought back a live guinea pig and said, “Eso es comiendo.” “this is what you are eating.” As soon as the other guy realized what he had been eating, he suddenly became nauseated and headed to the bathroom. Apparently he had a pet guinea pig when he was young and it didn’t sit well knowing that is what he had eaten.
I hadn’t thought about that for years but as we were discussing it I thought about the times that things that seemed good suddenly were not as wonderful when one found out the truth about it. Sometimes that can apply to food but it can apply to other things as well: jobs, cars, houses, people, almost anything really. But, many times something seems great at first, you almost can’t believe how good it is and then, you find out what it really is, despite all the seasoning and presentation, what it truly is you realize is no where near what you thought. What seemed fantastic is far from that. Rather than being something marvelous, it is something that you find, not only is it not what you thought, but the opposite. All because deep down inside, what it is made from is something that is not only not good, but the complete opposite.
How does one reconcile the facts with the perception? Does one adapt the thought that it was always like it seems now, and for some reason what was thought to be delicious was really not palatable at all? Is knowledge about something what makes it better or worse? Applying that to one’s spiritual life, I know there are things that in the past I thought were marvelous and now, not only do I not find those things appealing, I find myself puzzled that I could ever think such things were anything worth the effort, when looking back on what I “enjoyed” I realize that now, God has changed my thoughts about a lot of things. Some is because I think differently about things because of how He has worked in my life and changed my tastes? Yes, I do believe He has done that and more. Is it that, combined with the fact He has shown me some truths that I was not willing or able to face in the past? Probably yes. Perhaps He is helping me be better able to discern what is true from what I thought to be true but is not; showing me the difference between my perception of truth and what IS TRUE!
4 For every creature of God [is] good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:
5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
1 Timothy 4:4-5
So, things may be okay to eat, but not necessarily taste good or even seem appetizing, regarding actual food, so the concept of what is good is within the person. But, sometimes, because of how food is prepared and presented, it can look more appetizing, or very much the opposite. Yet, the foods that look less appetizing can actually taste better.
But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for [the LORD seeth] not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7
Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Matthew 23:28
But, with things that seem good based on outward appearances, without knowledge of the truth of that thing, person, etc we may mistakenly take part, then realize either it is far from good and nothing near what it looked to be initially. With that thought, it is obvious He wants us to be better informed, educated, wise about things.
Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:4
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. Colossians 2:8
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all [men] liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. James 1:5
Yes, He will give us knowledge and wisdom; He will show us the truth. We must seek the truth, ask for wisdom and knowledge of things before we partake, only then will we avoid that which is not good. Delaying getting involved in a situation that until after we earnestly seek God, and seek the knowledge and understanding He provides will ensure that we do not find ourselves sickened by what we find to be the truth. Just as had my friend inquired and learned the truth about what he was eating would have helped him avoid being sickened by finding out after he had consumed it.
Lord, I praise You and worship Your Holy Name. I thank You for using my life experiences to teach me better ways to think and live. That You show me that what once seemed to be wonderful is not always so. I pray in the name of Jesus that You show us all the truths about various situations and give us the wisdom and desire to seek You before we partake. That You help us realize that not all that looks good is good and that what can seem good at first is often something that will cause us some sort of suffering in the long run. I pray that You draw me and loved ones closer to You, teach us all Your love for one another and that You show us, should we be in a situation that we suddenly find sickens us because it is not of You, how we can remove ourselves from that and help us avoid those things in the future.
Well, thank you all again for your time. I hope my rambling makes sense and is of some sort of blessing to someone. Please try to be a blessing to another as you go about your days.