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Seeds of Devotion
By Julia Attaway

An Exercise in Obedience

I have a routine medical procedure scheduled for tomorrow, which requires a liquid diet today. The experience is strangely liberating, because I don’t have to make a single choice today about what to eat.

There will be no should-I-or-shouldn’t-I-indulge decisions, no rationalizations or self-given permission to nibble or snack. My preferences simply don’t matter today. This is an exercise in simple obedience.

Perhaps it’s a measure of how often I give way to my desires that a one-day clear-liquid diet feels so freeing. It’s easy, because doing anything else would make a mess of tomorrow’s procedure. But it does make me wonder: if I can follow the instructions of the doctor as if he were God, why can’t I follow God’s instructions as if he were the doctor? Self-indulgence and self-centeredness today will surely make a mess of tomorrow’s relationship with the Lord. Maybe it’s worth trying a one-day diet in which I try to forego all self-centeredness for 24 hours. I wonder if I could. And I wonder what the outcome would be.

Julia Attaway is a freelance writer, homeschooler and mother of five. She is the editor of Daily Guideposts: Your First Year of Motherhood, a book of devotions for first-time moms. She lives in New York.