A while back, I sent a survey to my subscribers (that sounds so official) asking what they’d be interested in learning about me. I put in one answer just to take up space, knowing no one would take it seriously or give it a second thought.
Except I think every person who answered the survey checked that answer.
I don’t know why I didn’t think anyone would pick it. Then again I’m not sure why I chose that as my space-saver topic to make the quiz look meatier, as it were…
What did they vote for? They’re interested in learning why I didn’t eat pork for 18 months.
In reality, the details are a little fuzzy. It started a couple of years ago when I felt a holy-nudge to rest. I took that nudge and ran with it to as true a traditional Sabbath as I could muster. I did all my cooking and prep work the day before, and on that Sabbath day, I rested. I read. I turned off all my electronics. I was just present the whole day.
And it was amazing.
And in around that same time, I felt another holy-nudge, as it were. A nudge to stop eating pork.
I had been going back and forth on it for a while, whether I should continue to eat pork or not. There’s nothing quite as savory or satisfying as gnawing on a piece of bacon, hot off the griddle. Unless it’s candied bacon.
Pigs don’t sweat. (So when people say they sweat like a pig, they’re not saying anything noteworthy). By not sweating, their body can only rid itself of byproducts and toxins one way, and that way is not a 100% guarantee. And don’t make me spell it out for you what I’m talking about here. Try to keep up.
Pigs were also inherently “unclean” in the old testament. I figure it was for good reason.
I get that it was all reformed with Peter’s vision and revelation in Acts, but whether or not they were still considered unclean, it didn’t change the whole no-sweating, no-toxin-release issue.
While these thoughts swirled around in my head, I felt it was confirmed through my own vision of sorts I was being led to give up pork. And I did.
It was a lot harder than you might think, and not just because bacon tastes so good.
Pork is in so many of the foods I was eating regularly. Ham is pork, which you forget sometimes, believe it or not. Canadian bacon isn’t made of turkey. I would order things with bacon, forgetting it was pork bacon, because I had made a new habit of only consuming turkey bacon at home. It would slip my mind out in public that “bacon” was not synonymous with “turkey bacon” anywhere outside the walls of my kitchen.
Sausage. Meatballs. Pepperoni. Hot dogs. Ribs. Roasts. Taco meat, even. Just about everything you could grab on the go is pork, or has pork additives. I had to be extra careful and check ingredients on food labels. I also had to inform friends who invited us over, or family members even, I had given up pork.
I don’t know, other than I felt led to, and I was walking in obedience.
“Yeah, but why?”
I don’t know!
The Lord works in mysterious ways, I guess.
It was about 12 months – one full year – after I gave up pork that I felt released from having to avoid it any longer. But I kept at it, wondering if I would ever eat pork again. I liked my thick cut turkey bacon and my pineapple and black olive topped pizzas.
Months later while we were out of town for a wedding, at breakfast in a hotel, I placed my order. My plate came, and I waited for Hubs, who had been nothing but (lovingly) sarcastic this entire 18 month journey, to say something.
I had ordered bacon for the first time in 18 months. He didn’t even notice.
I ate my bacon, crunching as loudly as possible, not drawing any attention from Hubs across the table.
And, after 18 months, it wasn’t that great. The hotel bacon left much to be desired, and I wondered if I had made the right choice. It wasn’t until later when I told Hubs about my breakfast he was upset with himself for missing his chance to ridicule my self-imposed shortcomings…
I learned a lot during pork’s absence from my diet:
- Red meat is far more expensive, as are kosher hot dogs.
- I can still hear the Lord’s voice, audible or not.
- I didn’t really “miss” it from my day to day, and perhaps this was a doorway to giving up other foods I feel tied to, or that are less than optimum health choices for me.
- Turkey bacon is not that bad, if you don’t stop to think about how it’s made.
Also, after reading Charlotte’s Web for the first few weeks of Little Miss’ homeschool this year, I shudder to think of all the would-be loyal friend Wilburs that may have ended up on my plate.
So will I eat pork still? I do on occasion now, though I’m leaning toward doing away with it again. And for good.
Sometimes we have no idea why we’re supposed to do something, only that we’re supposed to do it. We don’t always have the answers for the tests we’re given.
I just hope I don’t feel that same nudge about Nutella…