I'm the grocery shopper in our family. I walk the aisles of choices and read the labels, searching the food, trying to discern facts from fiction. This regular responsibility comes with some regular fears about making the wrong choices in what I feed my family. I hear the warnings in the news and read about them online. The consequences of choosing poorly can be paralyzing. What if my decisions somehow were sentencing our family to stunted growth or lower immunity or sickness or cancer or even death?
It's sad, but sometimes I allow the food in my cart to label me. If I walk down the organic aisle with its pesticide-free, non-GMO, "real" food, I feel good about myself and my mothering. My pride gladly wears the labels "informed," "wise," and "caring." But if my shadow darkens the aisle of the processed, chemically-bathed "non-food," my fearful heart wants to hide in shame.
Eating the Bread of Anxious Toil
We humans are a fearful bunch — longing for wisdom and control for as long as we've lived on this earth, dating back to Adam and Eve. We arm ourselves with research on carcinogens, studies on long-term exposure, and shocking facts on what's in that chicken nugget. We can know the exact farm, genealogy, and diet of every grazing animal gracing our table. It can feel like we're purchasing peace of mind, warding off disease with our wisdom and our wallet. But no amount of information or money can alter the reality of living in a fallen world, all of it fading with death and disease.