I was down in Scottsdale, AZ this weekend for some incredibly in depth nutritional education this weekend. The first lecturer started his talk with “if you don’t have baseline understanding of organic chemistry than I don’t know how you can expect to fully understand the causes and effects of nutritional prescriptions.” It is funny because I have always felt that way about almost everything. I am telling Charlie everyday “if you don’t have a baseline understanding of organic chemistry than I don’t know how you are ever going to __________(fill in the blank). She isn’t crawling yet and I attribute it to her limited comprehension of molecular bonding.
What always gets me when I leave any sort of event like this is just how fired up everyone is to change themselves and everyone else around them when they leave. During the lunch break everyone goes to whole foods and judges each other regarding their food choices. Understand that this is already a group of fanatics and this is like the underground super nerd camp at computer camp so there is only so much room for change. With them that is. Not for me. When I am in California, Arizona, or Nevada I refuse to eat anything but 4x2s from In-N-Out burger. This leaves me with plenty of room to change. This is only half true. The piece about be fired up to save the world is completely true. You walk out of there with his renewed conviction that people are killing themselves and if they don’t listen to you they are idiots and maybe they deserve to get diabetes and gout. With this attitude we lose so many opportunities to help folks.
The grace and truth balance is a constant tension that we must fight as we seek to serve those we care about. The grace element of meeting people right where they are without judgment can be a challenge. The truth piece of not leaving them there is also hard for many. Both are important.
I think of my own parents who have so much to gain from what I know but aren’t ready for all of it. In fact they are ready for very little of it. It is a process though. No disrespecting where they are right now but I certainly won’t leave them there. There is too much at stake. I have to keep trying but always remembering that they have full ownership over their choices. Good or bad my first role is son, or friend, or co-worker whatever the case may be. They didn’t hire me. They didn’t as me and even if they did I must remember that they are at a different place on the journey than I am.
Who is in your life that could benefit from what you know but isn’t ready for all of it yet? Are you trying? Remember it is an offering of grace and truth. Meet them where they are but don’t leave them there.