If breakfast is so good for us, why is it trying to kill me?

Yeah, that’s right. The most important meal of the day has it out for me.

We’ve never had a good relationship, breakfast and I. Because I often would not feel particularly well after eating breakfast, I have been pretty much a breakfast skipper for most of my life. But for the past few years, I’ve had trouble losing any kind of weight—a struggle I’m still not used to having—so I decided to give the old breakfast thing a chance. After all, studies show that people who eat breakfast tend to lose more weight, or lose more quickly, or keep it off, or something, than those who don’t. Not working for me.

The thing is, I can’t eat breakfast. I’ve tried. Really I have. Unfortunately I have learned the hard way a few times more than I should have, that if I eat, I can only eat one small thing in the morning. And that is it. For example only: If I eat a banana OR a slice of toast, then I am fine. But, if I eat a banana AND a slice of toast, I might as well call it a day. Within minutes of my last bite, my heart will start beating rapidly and feel like it’s pounding its way out of my chest.

The rapid, pounding heartbeat can last for a few minutes or a couple of hours and drains every last ounce of energy that might have existed. My muscles feel weak and I want to collapse. I have to sit or lie down until it’s over. It can really mess up my day depending on how long the episode lasts. Even though it hasn’t happened every single time I’ve tried to eat breakfast, it happens more often than not. I now do what I can to avoid this unpleasantness.

The only way to make sure this doesn’t happen is to either just eat one small thing or wait until a magical, seemingly random time after 9ish a.m., but closer to 10, to eat, and voilà! no problems. Another option is to eat the small thing, then wait for about 45 minutes to eat another small something, then the heart thing doesn’t happen. 

Does this happen to anyone else out there? Or is it just me? Alas, I’d be totally used to it if it’s just me.

So despite all the studies and the advice of every doctor, dietitian and nutritionist in the universe who says that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, I have to go against the grain and admit that it just isn’t for me. I mean, if it’s going to make me feel like my heart is about to explode and I’m in the last moments of my life, I’d rather just skip it. I hope you don’t mind.

• • • •

I have a friend on Facebook who seems to have made a resolution this year to make pronouncements on how to read the Bible, how to react to the weather, and how to “just do” other topics. All in the name of trusting God. Which is fine, but it’s not coming across, at least to me, as all that loving or encouraging. I know he means well, but his tone is just off somehow.

It’s as if he is saying this is the rule, follow the rule, no ifs, ands or buts. It’s a common phase to go through for people walking the path of Christ. Unfortunately, some never seem to get out of this phase, never realizing that Jesus is working out different needs in each person. The “just follow the rule” tone is the equivalent for my ears to “you must eat breakfast, because it is the most important meal of the day” mantra.

Some of us just aren’t in a position to accept the rule quite yet. It weakens us to try to do it all in one swoop. Even God didn’t drive all the people out of the Promised Land for the Israelites all at once, because then the wild animals would have been too many and too dangerous for them to handle.

You can tell me all day long to just trust God, but if my way of trusting doesn’t live up to your standards, that doesn’t mean I’m not doing it. Trusting God can be much like my version of breakfast—one small thing. That may be all anyone at any given time can do, one small thing, but it’s a step nonetheless. Usually, that one small thing may be the one thing it takes to get on the path to trust.

There is so much hurt in this world. We cannot possibly know the pain of all the people we come across—their triggers, their fears, their needs, their past, their struggles. In fact, there are very few people we can actually apply the rule and deal in black and white with—only certain kinds of relationships may allow for this. For the rest of our fellow travelers, we may be better able to show love in His Name when we deal with them in shades of grace.

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