This article originally published in the January 2009 issue of groundswell.

I feel a distance in my relationship with God.  There remains a great deal of closeness and intimacy, however there is something amiss.  I committed a morning to figuring out what stirs beneath the layer of closeness.  In His faithfulness, God revealed it right off the bat.  I am afraid of broccoli.

Broccoli can be bland, dry out your mouth, and tough on its own.  Let’s face it–the flavor leaves something to be desired, precisely why we usually dip it in ranch dressing or cover it in butter.  Hence, broccoli lives as a metaphor for those things in the Christian experience that we see, we do not want, and yet we know it may be coming soon.

We know broccoli is good for us.  We sigh when we think we need to eat more of it, and yet, more often than not, we just find something else to fill our plate instead.  But like a child who holds little control over the dinner menu, we know every once in a while God is bringing broccoli our way.

Herein lies my hesitation.  More than a handful of months ago, I stomached some broccoli in my own life.  Even at the time, I knew with absolute certainty the broccoli came from God and actively produced incredible benefits in my life.  I just didn’t like the taste of it–the pain, confusion, and discomfort that accompanied that particular serving of vegetables is not something I ever want to experience again.

Before this morning, I had yet to pass that corner of submitting to even broccoli.  I practice the spiritual practices, I experience God on a daily basis.  And yet, there remained this corner of my heart with its hands over its eyes saying, “you can’t see me, and if you can’t see me, you can’t give me broccoli.”  But my desire for complete intimacy with God won this battle.  The change in perspective will take time to become concrete, but if it is broccoli I need, I want to embrace it whole-heartedly.  Half-submission and kinda-sorta-faith has no place in my heart.  It is time to season this broccoli up and enjoy.

photo by Rob Owen-Wahl

Throwbacks are all about bringing in previously-published articles.  These articles appeared back when groundswell was published in the form of an email newsletter.  The photos are newly added to the blog.

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