Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Sacramental Living

Last summer I got a copy of "Crunchy Cons" by Rob Dreher when all the hoopla was going on about it. I read it quickly as I was in the midst of several other readings. I wanted to go back and digest it more carefully later. Fast forward almost a year and I have finally been able to read it again - with pen in hand and absorb the book.

The term that really stood out to me in this living and something that I really want to work on personally, is 'living sacramentally.' It is the pinnacle, the summation of where I want my life to go from here. It was the desire I started with last spring to make my life more simple - only I didn't have the words for it.

I can't tackle all the parts of the book at once, as I can't tackle everything in my life in one fell swoop. I've decided to start with Food to focus on. Everything starts with food, huh. We have been moving in this direction, but this summer my goal is to eat 90% of our food fresh or made from scratch in our kitchen. The kids will be dragged to the farmer's market and even better, to pick-your-own farms. We may even go visit some beef suppliers. Seeing the food at this level makes it more 'real.' It takes a lot of work and energy for food to reach our plates. And, my children they don't get this.

Too often when we say "you should be thankful of the dinner we are having" we follow it up with a lecture of a child in far away Africa. My kids are so young they don't understand that. I think what we need to teach them to be thankful of is that we have this food at all - a seed is planted, with the right amount of sun's heat and right amount of rain it grows. The farmer must weed or implement anti-weed systems. Then somebody must pick the produce, generally the poorest of our economy. It is sent to a factory where more working poor process it. That raw food is brought into the house where someone must clean it and prepare it. That head of broccoli really had to go through a lot before it ever hit our plate. Someone doesn't waste something as precious as that. And think about how much more special if you actually knew the farmer.

But, if you think the broccoli just magically appears on the grocery shelf one day for your convenience - it just doesn't hold the same awe. It can be wasted. Where it comes from isn't important, what it needs to grow isn't important. The value is dramatically reduced. The connection between nature-farm-home-plate has been cut. Along with it I feel that God's grace and provision has been removed from our table.

I want to re-introduce my children & myself to that relationship.



1 comment:

Dy said...

You know, it might be fun, and help make the point, to have the girls plant two flats of seeds. In one, make sure they weed and fertilize, water and assure proper sunlight. Have them test the soil and add the right nutrients. In the other flat, just set it any old place and ignore it. Then let them compare the differences between the two "crops". That might make it feel more "real" for them, more "right there".


A family of six living and learning. You might catch us outside in the mud or working on crafts. We always seem to be on the go, come on and join us.