As I sat down to breakfast this morning, I gazed with not a little wonder at the plate before me. It held one of my faves: egg-in-the-hole. Yes, a piece of wheat bread with a hole ripped in the middle and a lovely egg resting inside the empty space. Atop it were leftover roasted autumn veggies, tiny potatoes and Brussel sprouts, a few pepper slices, some hunks of carrot... Can you picture it? And then, the crowning jewel atop the veg—a sardine.
Scrumptious, yes? Aren't you jealous?
If you aren't, I won't take it personally. If you'd told me 30 years ago that I'd look upon this as a desirable dish, I would have laughed. I couldn't imagine eating something so savory and unsweet at that point in my life. It was beyond comprehension. I still inhaled ice cream most days, drank sweet tea, scarfed down Ho-Hos for lunch. I distinctly recall my splurge in college being Hostess brand raspberry-coconut coated Zingers.
(Not to say I wouldn't still enjoy those on a daily basis today. I mean, come on—those things are amazing.)
But thanks to sugar issues, changing metabolic rates, middle age, and a more sedentary lifestyle, I was forced to become much more health-conscious in the past decade, and it's been good for me. I've become a better and more creative cook, I've learned much more about our food supply, I actively seeking homegrown and local options for the kitchen... And my palate has expanded exponentially. As it should, since I'm a reluctant grownup now.
I described my breakfast meal only to preface the point of this post—that being, we as humans have an incredible capacity for change through growth. Most of us are constantly changing, and often not by choice; sometimes, however, through limitations or fear of consequences, the changes make us better people.
I've gotten better at budgets because of times when we lacked. I've grown more active lately because of the adopted dog who needs activity. Would I have chosen to go through tight financial periods? Heck, no. It was rough. But I'm wiser now because of it, and I have more faith in God's provision. Would I have picked out a high-energy dog intentionally so I'd be forced to exercise? Good grief, no—I wasn't eyeballing the purse-fitting dogs or anything, but I would likely have gravitated to a couch-loving breed of small beast, and we would probably have grown chubbier together... God knew I didn't need more relaxation.
So, what's the point? I guess what I'm saying is it's increasingly clear to me that what initially looks like suffering or denial will, in most cases, end up being a doorway to a good place that I would never have discovered otherwise.
And the big picture? We have the ability to be altered. We are capable of falling into bad habits, but equally capable of teaching ourselves (or being forced to learn) new, better habits. Our beliefs can shift, our behaviors can change, we can improve. We don't have to let life happen to us.
Isn't that empowering?