When Can I Go Back to Eating Normally?
Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. John 21:3
Often, I’ll set out to eat healthy, only to struggle with sticking to the plan. I know I should change my eating habits permanently, but honestly, I’m just waiting for the day when I can go back to eating how I want. Almost all diets work short-term but fail long-term. Why? It’s because I can change for a little while, but eventually, I drift back to old habits. In my mind, a diet isn’t a permanent change, it’s just a temporary effort that I’m ultimately going to abandon.
I initially approached recovery this way. When I first got sober, I knew I’d eventually be able to go back to recreational drug use. So, I did. I stayed sober for a while, but as with the short-term diet, I didn’t embrace permanent change, and soon, I was back at my old behaviors. If I don’t daily work at permanent transformation, I just naturally return to my old ways.
This seems to be somewhat similar to what the disciples did after Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. Though he was alive, things weren’t like they had been. Jesus was with them for a moment and then gone. Lost and wandering without their leader, the disciples went back home to pick up their old profession of fishing. It seems God ordained that they wouldn’t catch any fish – perhaps to show them the futility of the old life – until Jesus showed up. Jesus didn’t chastise them for fishing, but he did redirect them back into the ministry for which he had chosen them.
Many of us are like this with our faith. We think transformation is a good thing, and so we embrace it – for a while. Maybe we get out and do something for God – loving the poor or helping our neighbor – but soon, we simply go back to living our way. Maybe we abandon our self-destructive behaviors for a little while, but soon, we return to the old life.
Jesus doesn’t suggest a six-week diet plan though. He asks us to follow him now and forever. Faith isn’t temporary and if we truly want to know recovery and new life, we must follow Christ daily for the rest of our lives.