Monday, June 8, 2009

forbidden fruit

It's no secret that those of us who struggle with disordered eating have some twisted thinking. There's nothing rational about believing that I may never get the opportunity to have Cap City Diner's Big-A Chocolate Cake ever again in my life when we go there several times a year. There's nothing rational about binging over the weekend then being surprised when the scale registers a higher number on Monday. There's nothing rational about gaining five pounds then making the leap that within a month I will have suddenly gained another 95. Let's face it. We're not exactly known for rationality.

The issue, I believe, is one of deception. Somewhere along the line, we have come to believe that which is not truth, and we cling to it doggedly. There are a multitude of lies that get stuck in our main frame, but for me, the lie that sends me into the greatest amount of panic is the one that whispers to me there is not enough for you. Now, was I a survivor of the Great Depression or a Nazi Concentration Camp, that would be a valid fear with a clear root. But I'm obviously not, and, to look at me, you know that I clearly get more than enough. So where is that fear rooted?

One of our pastors slapped me upside the head a few months ago with the answer, and I didn't even realize I was asking the question at the time. He was teaching on Eve and the Garden of Eden, and if you've done any reading on this subject, you know that most people point the finger at Eve's pride as being the problem—the "original sin," so to speak. They assert that Eve's great transgression was wanting to be like God—eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil so that she could know what God knows and therefore be on par with the omniscient creator. This pastor disagrees.

Eve's offense was of a much different nature, he contends. When Satan questions what she is and isn't allowed to eat, the issue was not what she chose to eat and why. The issue was that she responded to that question in her heart with distrust. In her heart, she believed God was withholding from her. And if God was withholding from her, then he must not really be for her, and therefore he must not really be loving and good. The heart of the matter was not one of pride, it was one of distrust. And as much as I'd like to convince myself that I would never have taken from that tree, the truth is that I eat of its fruit each and every day.

When it all boils down to it, I struggle to believe that I can "taste and see that the Lord is good." When I am told I cannot eat X, Y, or Z, I don't receive that as loving. I perceive it as withholding. When I already feel sad and lonely and tired and unhappy and deprived, to be told I can't have something that brings me a brief moment of happiness feels like punishment at its worst, withholding at its best. I don't know how to uproot this. I don't know how to put the proverbial apple back on the proverbial tree.

I don't know how to believe that which I don't truly believe. I don't know how to trust in a love I cannot taste, see, feel, experience.

If the truth has not set me free, do I not really know the truth?

1 comment:

  1. It's funny, I've always viewed this act on Eve's part as distrust. Not one time have I heard or have I believed it had anything to do with pride. I also think it was just plain deception. Confusion. A twisting of words that little snake did.

    I like how you have framed it within the context of food. You are definitely making me think.