Recently, my husband and I went into Cabela’s (a hunting/fishing/gaming store). When we walked in, I was shocked at all the taxidermy animals. Deer, beavers, bears, large birds and many other critters. All posed in life-like stances with a setting of trees and rocks. As we made it to the back of the store, I became fixated on a huge buffalo above my head. Frozen in my steps, I just looked into his eyes (well, the plastic ones) and imagined him out in nature living his life, minding his own business.
As I tend to do, my thoughts started to get away from me and I began to imagine him with his family. I wondered if he had little ones that were left behind when a hunter came along and took his life.
Now, don’t get me wrong, this post is not an anti-hunting PETA kind of post. I am just giving a little background on where this story is going. Please read on …..
My husband came to me and asked, “why the tears?” snapping me out of my thoughts.
We left the store and I couldn’t get the image of that buffalo out of my mind. I was flooded with memories of cute animals. A video where this guy was playing a trombone and all the cows came to listen……. Cows drawn to music!! Then another video of a cow playing with a ball. I felt very convicted, like I just couldn’t eat meat anymore.
So I stopped……. Just like that, I became a vegetarian.
After two weeks, I noticed that I began to feel healthier and I had even lost a couple pounds. And what do we do (those of us on Social Media) when we have exciting news? I posted it on Facebook!!
My first response was from my uncle who said, “SO, what will you do with all those left-over Beef Enchilada Stuffed Zucchini HAHAHA”
I also received a few private messages. One asked me how I would continue with the recipe part of my blog – would it become only vegetarian? Another person asked me how I (as a vegetarian) and my husband (a “carnivore”) could comfortably co-exist?
Without even thinking, these words came out, “it’s simple, being a vegetarian is kind of like being a Christian.”
“Well, I have my faith and my religious beliefs but I don’t force them upon anyone, right? My eating habits are the same thing. I’ve made changes for myself and (just like my faith), I will share with others that want to listen, but I wont judge anyone that doesn’t agree.”
As Christians, we walk through our days in the presence of non-believers. Just as vegetarians walk in the presence of meat eaters. We co-exist with people different than us. We walk through life setting examples, hoping someone will want what we have.
Maybe someone will see me and think, “wow, her skin looks great” or “she’s lost weight, how did she do it”.. Then I can share my new lifestyle change and maybe someone will want to change their lifestyle because of the example I set.
Isn’t our Christian faith the same?
By our example we can bring others to Christianity. I’ve had people say to me, “you seem so peaceful and happy, what’s your secret?” I’ve been able to share my faith and talk about God. Telling people how He changed my life and how He brings peace to every situation because I know HE is in control.
What kind of examples are you setting in your life? Do people want what you have?
I saw an episode of “Wife Swap” (where two polar opposite wife’s are swapped for two weeks – in the hopes that each wife can teach another family a different way of doing things). Now I don’t watch television very often, but this one I had to watch. A Christian wife was swapped with an Atheist wife. Each wife tried to teach the other family a new way of doing things. By the end, a few minor things changed for each family, but neither had adopted a new way of living.
During the final interview when each spouse was confronted by the other family, the Atheist father had tears in his eyes and said, “you wanna know the hardest part of my lifestyle? It’s being faced with judgmental Christians who look down on me for not being like them. It hurts because I am a good hearted, hard working man”.
That moment was burned into my memory. I thought, “how can we bring people to Christianity if we are judging them for the lives they currently live?” Why would an Atheist want to be a Judgmental Christian? It made me sad.
Imagine if all the Atheist of the world were confronted with Christians that just loved them, cared for them, prayed for them (without rubbing their noses in it). What kind of an impact could we have if we just spread joy, kindness, an unconditional love (like Jesus shares with us).
We can’t force people to adopt our way of life. All we can do is live by example, by our actions, by our unconditional love – God will do the rest 🙂
Thanks for stopping by. See you soon, Rene’
*by the way, if you are following for the great recipes, stay tuned for some amazing vegetarian surprises (I will still be posting meaty deliciousness as well – hubby still has to eat 🙂