• 57°

When Fried Fatback and Gravy Seemed Innocent

While dining at one of my favorite restaurants I noticed something new added to the menu. They offer plenty of tasty selections, so a new dish was not something needed. But even if they added a new item it would not have grabbed my attention as did what now appears on the menu: the calorie content of every dish offered is posted for the diner’s enjoyment!

Before they added the new information I had no idea how many calories were contained even in small innocent looking dishes, but now I could read it for myself. As much as I prefer fried fish over grilled fish, the caloric difference between the two is shocking. Or how about a simple serving of coleslaw? Thanks to high fat mayonnaise, healthy raw cabbage is transformed into coronary blockage in a bowl.
In the past I could enjoy my meal at that eatery in innocence (or ignorance, whichever word is most appropriate), but some health conscious person put an end to the bliss.

It reminds me of my earlier years when we grew our own pork. About this time of year, whenever the weather got cold enough, we had a hog killing. The result of that was some of the finest tenderloin and sausage that you could imagine. But that was not all. We salted down the hams and shoulders, and then later hung them to cure. Several months later we enjoyed the tastiest country hams and shoulders that could be found anywhere. We also had biscuits made with hog lard, served with fried fatback and gravy, which produced pure joy at the table. But that was before I ever heard of cholesterol, triglycerides, excess sodium, and saturated fat!

I finally figured out it is cheaper to pay the grocery man instead of the feed man, so raising our own meat is no longer part of my routine—with the exception of feeding Addy’s show pig occasionally. Doing that for her does not put any food on the table but it does take me on a brief walk down memory lane to when we lived in an old family farm house with the big barn out back with retired and rusting farm equipment in the barnyard.

Even if I had some of that good greasy and salty pork today like we had then, eating it would bring a degree of guilt because of what I now know about its possible health implications (Although if I had some I would ignore the guilt and enjoy a little of it!!). There might be a little voice in the back of the mind that says “I wish I didn’t know so much about what’s bad for me”, yet ignorance of such things does not erase the risks. When we know the potential implications of something, we have opportunity to modify our actions and gain positively from it

God’s Word gives us a lot of instructions to help us with our spiritual and moral choices. Not because God delights to take things away from us, but because He wants us to understand the consequences that bad choices bring. It is crucial that we study God’s Word so we better understand right and wrong, and the things that please and displease God. Ignorance of such things is no excuse. He has lovingly made His Word available to us; it is up to us take advantage of it.

We are told in Romans 14:11-12, “It is written: “’As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before Me; every tongue will confess to God.’ So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God” (New International Version). Ignorance of God’s Word does not make us innocent before God. Hide His Word in your heart so you do not sin against Him.