I miss pasta. It’s one of my all-time favorite foods, but we don’t eat it at home much anymore. Turbo’s Celiac Disease prohibits him from wheat pasta, and although tasty gluten-free noodle options now exist, they tend to be a blood sugar nightmare. It’s simply easier to eat some chicken and steamed veggies instead of trying to make pasta dishes work for our family.
Last night, however, we had spaghetti for dinner. I’d really been missing my beloved pasta, and when I found Angel Hair on sale last week, I bought some both to indulge my craving and to supplement our food budget with a cheap meal. Paired with Classico-brand sauce (gluten free and no sugar added, all for a decent price – score on multiple accounts!) and a side of cauliflower, all I had to do to make it suitable for Turbo was to steam a spaghetti squash for some Celiac/Diabetes-friendly “noodles.”
It was a huge hit. From the beaver-cheeked smiles and multiple compliments from the spark plugs, I realized that I wasn’t the only one who had been missing an Italian-inspired meal.
As easy as spaghetti is supposed to be, though, ours wasn’t.
It may seem like an easy thing to keep separate utensils and dishes to prevent gluten contamination, but I find it difficult. Multiple times I caught myself about to stir the squash noodles with the wheat noodle spoon. I had to dig out my spare pair of tongs for dishing out the various meals. Even cleanup was no simple matter; what if I scrubbed out the pasta pot first and then washed the other pans? Would the scrubber cross-contaminate the other items? I’ve really no idea.
As tasty and refreshingly different as the spaghetti was, I have to wonder whether or not it’s truly the best meal for us. While there’s nothing wrong with serving it, we have to be extremely cautious, and that detracts from the ease of preparation. And what if I’d actually contaminated something? We would’ve had to start the cooking process over, I suppose.
I began to wonder how many things we do in life that are not truly harmful but could easily lead down a path we shouldn’t go down – things that, at first, appear to be a fun idea but which take us dangerously close to becoming involved in something we as believers should have no part of. I’m sure there are many.
Our spaghetti experience likely won’t keep me from preparing it on occasion, but I will take extra precautions before serving it again. Truthfully, I really should simply serve all of us the squash noodles and thus avoid the possibility of contamination all together. If only there were such a simple fix in our spiritual lives so that we could enjoy the “pasta” without threat of falling into temptation!
Your turn: Have you ever found yourself in a spiritually-dangerous situation? How did you handle it? What would you do differently in the future to prevent the same thing from happening again?