Tolerance 09

I have had a “bad” stomach for about 20 years now. I remember in 1988 after I returned from England how by 10AM my stomach would hurt so bad that I’d have to go buy a carton of milk to get it to settle down. I couldn’t figure out what was causing it. I’d have oatmeal for breakfast and have an upset stomach by 10. I finally went to the hospital and they tested me for ulcers and such. Nothing. So they put me on medication. Don’t you love that? Couldn’t figure out what was wrong so they gave me pills! Anyway, the Zantac helped for a year or two.

Today, no more Zantac and I pretty much have my stomach problems under control. I just watch what and when I eat and I’m okay. So what was it? Wheat. Sure, I had oatmeal for breakfast, but I’d eat it with buttered toast. Took me quite a while to figure it out. But this morning I had peanut butter on buttered toast and a cup of coffee. Can I expect an attack soon? Probably not. What I’ve learned is not to totally eliminate wheat from my diet, but to take a little bit every once in a while.

You see, I’ve found that my body can tolerate some wheat. Apparently, it doesn’t like it and can’t handle large amounts of the stuff, but it can tolerate a moderate amount. That’s what tolerance is. Tolerance isn’t my body just getting over its problem with wheat and accepting it completely as part of my diet. Tolerance in this case is my body not liking it but accepting it in specific ways. That’s what the word means.

So as 2009 begins and President Obama is about to take the oath of office and Rick Warren is going to give the invocation, let’s hope there is tolerance on both sides of the political debate. Some are protesting Warren’s inclusion because of his stance on homosexuality. Some are so concerned that he might utter the name ‘Jesus’ during his prayer that they are filing a law suit to block prayer at the event. Some are concerned that Warren might pray in a bland, generic manner that doesn’t honor Christ; and by the way, Warren is a Christian pastor. I just hope that in the end, we can all stomach a little tolerance for positions we don’t agree with. That’s the kind of thing America has been struggling toward since our beginning.

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