I love my job (well, for the most part). I work with kids at a therapeutic boarding school. My “job” isn’t the most glamorous thing in the world, but I get to hang out with some of the most (shall we say) interesting people I’ve ever met. They like to talk to me about their lives back home and the trouble they got into, and they’re fascinated with how not “hard core” I am.
The other night, the Jewish students were taken to celebrate Rosh Hashanah at the local temple. I had never seen a Jewish service, so I volunteered to go with them. Before they arrived, I was able to start my new book, A Call to Die. https://diaryofamadhousewifeblog.wordpress.com/2013/09/01/would-you-do-a-40-day-fast/
So, I believe I’ve finally narrowed it down to what I will fast from for 40 days. I thought about facebook, but it’s not that important to me. I needed something that I really struggled with every day. Food. Not all food, but food for food’s sake. You know how some people eat to live and others live to eat? Well, I fall under the latter category. I love food – cooking, baking, eating (especially when those three combine – snitching). I eat out of boredom. But mostly, I’m an emotional eater. I justify eating terrible food if I’m upset or frustrated.
So, I’m fasting from emotional eating. That basically knocks out my junk intake. It also knocks out stepping on the scale every day. This is the part I’m struggling with already – not stepping on the scale for 40 days! I’ve realized how much that thing dictates whether or not I have a good day. And when I say dictates, I mean that thing is a dictator. It says when I eat, what I eat, and how I feel about myself. Typically, it’s a pretty cruel dictator too. So, for the next 40 days, I am going where no woman has gone before – sans-scale!
Eventually, the kids from school arrived. Here’s what it looked like: 2 Gentiles taking 14 former addicts to temple. I think that’s what’s called a hot mess. We did alright for the most part. Other than singing the Canadian national anthem instead of the Hebrew lyrics during the congregational songs, I’d say everyone behaved surprisingly well. The ladies in the choir were too busy cutting their eyes back and forth at each other for singing the wrong part to notice us. I’m not exactly sure how they knew the other one was off-key, but it was like watching two teenage girls fighting for spotlight. Oi, right? Acting like a couple schmucks…
Once we got past the songs/readings part of the service, the rabbi gave a message on how we should live in the new year. He told the story of a proud rabbi who looked on an ugly man and asked, “Are all the people in your town this ugly.” To this the man replied, “Go to my Maker and tell Him what an ugly thing He has made.” The rabbi walked in shame the rest of the way home.
Each one of us is God’s unique creation. We cannot think we are better than anyone else. This year, we need to change. We need to show love to all of God’s creation – not just the ones who agree with us politically, religiously, or socially. Our job is not to judge but to show love. What a great example right there – two Christians sitting in the temple being welcomed by the Jewish congregation! Pride causes us to think we are better than others. Compassion gives us the eyes of Christ and allows us to see others as Christ does.
I thought this was the best way a 40-day fast could’ve possibly started! No, the rabbi didn’t mention emotional eating or losing weight for the new year. What he did say was that we all are God’s special creation. That means me too. I am made by God’s specific design. My worth isn’t found in how I look or feel at the moment. My worth is found in God alone. I am loved by the Creator of the universe! When I may not like the way I look or become obsessed with what the scale says, I can know I am always loved by God who made me exactly the way I am.
You don’t have to wait until January 1 to start making resolutions. Resolve now to find your worth in God alone and love others as He loves us!
May you have a blessed Rosh-Hashanah!