Today I cooked paella for dinner. Well, not really paella – it was the Hairy Dieters’ Beachside Paella minus the seafood to cater for my husband’s tastebuds. I scooped out a special portion for my 10 month old (minus the spicy chorizo) and let it cool before attempting to feed it to him. He managed the odd mouthful of rice, some chicken and even some red pepper, but he was distracted and fussy all the way through. I guess this is normal behaviour for a small human, but it was frustrating and annoying.
“You normally love this.”
“Hey, try this bit – it has come off daddy’s plate.”
“No. No throwing.”
Then, after what seemed like forever, I figured out the real problem. There, in the centre of the table left over from lunch and partially hidden by wipes and other baby paraphernalia, there was a punnet of grapes.
He wanted grapes and nothing else.
Sweet, sugary, juicy, and carefully cut into lengthways quarters (yes, I’ve seen the warnings).
Recently I’ve been listening to a podcast from Ransomed Heart. It’s about finding new ways to encounter God in 2018. They suggest being open to nudges from the Holy Spirit in all kinds of things – books, art, TV shows, the natural world. So many times we might be watching a film and a theme might surprise us, nudging at a place of deep pain in our hearts. Or it might be a “Wow, I don’t know anything about that” moment. But then we carry on with our lives and don’t pursue what God is trying to say to us in it.
I realise that I’m a picky eater when it comes to things of God. So often I fall back on the same methods of prayer (journalling is one) and don’t try others. Or I listen to the same old worship songs and ignore other outlets of creativity that may well bless me more. I know I like grapes, but what about paella? I think I’m eating wholesome food, but I’m missing out on so many other tastes and textures by being unwilling to try anything new.
So it is time to open up my heart, take a deep breath, and invite the Spirit to introduce me to fresh flavours of grace this year.