Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) tried to take our bacon away.
Or at least that’s how some news organizations first interpreted the announcement that processed meats have been classified as carcinogenic to humans. The real news was less dire, only announcing that the evidence confirms a link between colorectal cancer and certain eating habits (such as eating two strips of bacon a day).
Over at Facebook, a friend wondered after the announcement if she should feel guilty for serving up sausage that night. So far, though, the meat industry is not expecting Americans to abruptly change their eating habits.
I sighed at the now-predictable pattern: organization makes dietary announcement; media blows the news out of proportion; we wring our hands over food we happily ate yesterday. Sure, I want to be wise about food and make healthy choices, but the pattern of hysteria surrounding these announcements doesn’t seem wise or healthy.
While contemplating the uproar, I was uncomfortably reminded of a parallel pattern in my approach to spiritual discipline. After a Sunday sermon or an impactful book, I’d resolve to upend my life to incorporate the suggestions. A talk on listening prayer muted my prayer life; a book curriculum had me grabbing desperately at new spiritual practices. Rather than centering me in Christ, my approach led to frantic action — and then paralysis and guilt. I knew this wasn’t God’s plan. But how could I choose healthy habits in the face of so many insistent plans of action…?
I’m over at ThinkChristian today–my very first guest post there–talking about bacon, kale, and John Piper. Won’t you join me there?