Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Of mission and diets

I'm in a ruminative mood today, processing learnings of the last ten days or so.

On Sunday I preached on the gospel, trying to look at Jesus' instructions to the seventy in context so that I could extract some meanings for mission today. All who preach know that is not easy. Since then I have been wondering if there are lessons to be pulled from that passage in Luke and applied to our ministries around food and environment. Not anxiously hoarding, receiving what is at hand with thanks, not chasing after privilege or novelty, and remembering that it's not about us - all seem applicable. So much of the teaching is really about hospitality. What if we had an attitude of receiving hospitality toward our local foodshed and toward the planet? Being gracious guests might give somewhat the wrong angle - since it seems to imply that our real home is elsewhere (in heaven) and that's pretty tired theology. But the behavior of a good guest works in many situations, and could be a model for traveling light on the planet.

I wonder about the two by two message also. I prefer to do ministry in community, with others, at least cooperatively, but better collaboratively - but so much of my life is lived alone. My footprint would be much less if I shared living quarters, ate more with others, drove more with others. It was great during my at home vacation to have someone to eat meals with. While I'm proud of the fact that I don't resort to junk or heat-n-eat options when I dine alone, I ought to find more occasions to share meals.

If I ate more with others, I would probably eat less. Table conversation satisfies in a way that second helpings can't. Certainly I have a need for some strategies to help me lose the extra fat I have added since moving to Sonoma County. I don't feel that I can ever face another diet.

Last week in San Francisco I noticed how many fewer obese people there were. Maybe you can never be too rich or too thin to live in the City. You certainly can't be too rich if you want to own your housing. But I suspect that it has more to do with how much people take public transportation and walk there: another un-diet strategy good for you/me and the planet .

This morning on NPR I heard of web merchants who sell products for the obese - like 800 lb. test lawn chairs, and seat belt extensions. While I think fat people deserve more respect than they get, I don't want to go there - to that fat.

I started reading The Sex Life of Food by Penny Crumpacker. If it's any good I'll write more about it later. I offer her comment on a demonstration by fat people in D.C. in 2004:
" 'Fat is not a four letter word,' one of their signs read. But what fat is a four letter word that has been on a diet."

1 comment:

Phina Borgeson said...

I don't really recommend "The Sex Life of Food". I probably should have given it the 50 page test, and then put it down. It's one of those look-at-how-clever-I-am books made up of strung together factoids without footnotes, so, though entertaining in places, not very useful.