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Quaker Oats and a Healthy Heart

Lets talk about oatmeal. I hate oatmeal. It is one of the very few foods that I absolutely despise. The texture and smell make me want to throw up. If I come to your house and you serve me oatmeal there is a good chance that I will take a very small portion just to be polite, but I will complain in my head the entire time. Instead of being grateful that you spent your time, energy, and money making me a meal, I will only be able to focus on the fact that what I am eating is horribly gross.

The second morning that we were here in the Philippines guess what we had for breakfast. Oh yes. Oatmeal. Guess what I did. I took a small small portion and covered it in pineapple all the while thinking that I wished we could have something else.

I knew I had to eat it. It would appear ungrateful and rude if I didn’t. At that moment I thought that my actions were so much more important than my heart. So I ate it, but with an unthankful heart.

Later that day we were talking with our host about food and he was asked what his favorite meal was for breakfast. Then one of my squad mates asked our host if oatmeal was something that his family normally ate for breakfast.

Our hosts response shattered my ungrateful attitude.

“No, only rich people eat oatmeal here.”

I have never been so ashamed of the state of my heart. Sure, no one knew that I was unthankful, but that doesn’t matter. Not only had our host spent their time and energy making breakfast for us, he had also bought us the best food he could. He had not cooked what he liked, he had made us “rich people food” in order to serve us.

So often I have tried to have this mask of perfection. I want to appear grateful. I want to appear spiritual. I want to appear to be the perfect Christian, but God is teaching me more and more that appearances don’t mean anything to him.

I have always thought the verse “Man looks at the outward appearance and God looks upon the heart” means that we should spend more time in the word than focusing on clothes and makeup. Maybe it is actually talking about way more than that. If everyone around me thinks that I have it all together and my heart is in the wrong space, then my actions are meaningless.