By Elisa Morgan
As a child, I had a love/hate relationship with spaghetti.
While my mother was rather unpredictable in much of her mothering, she strictly enforced the two-bite rule in our house. The two-bite rule means you have to take two bites of everything on your plate, like it or not.
Except I think the last part of the rule was a true "Paige" (that was my mother's name) add-on. Her version of the two-bite rule was "You have to eat two bites of everything on your plate and then one day maybe you'll be big enough to like it." This "Paige-ism" offered a kind of magic to an otherwise boring rule. After all, you never knew if you might be "big enough" this time to like the unlikeable.
When I was a child, I didn't like spaghetti. I know, kinda weird. It might have been the tomato taste. Every "spaghetti night" I approached my dinner with a kind of wonder - Maybe this time? I'd watch my older sister wolf down her plateful. I'd look at her long limbs and budding womanhood and then at my own skinny legs and flat chest and yearn for "initiation". She was so mature!
I'd fork into the pile of red stuff and slurp it into my mouth - always following it in disgust with a giant gulp of milk as I discovered once again - I did NOT like spaghetti. Still.
Two bites after two bites after two bites, the years passed. Finally one day, after dutifully shoveling in a bite, I stopped, chewed and swallowed. Eureka! I liked spaghetti! I quickly looked down at my flat chest with crestfallen hope. I was still far from mature.
Silly? Maybe to some. But to me, the two-bite rule has come to apply to many things in life with its underlying principle: keep trying something you don't like so much and one day you just may be "big enough" to like it.
I discovered the two-bite rule applied beautifully to reading the Bible. Two bites. And one day you might be big enough to like it. Maybe I shouldn't imply that we don't "like" reading the Bible, but seriously, do we ALL ALWAYS get excited about reading the Bible? Like diving into your favorite dish - spaghetti or something else?
What are the two bites? Two questions: "What?" And "So what?"
First: "What?" Take a section of Scripture and ask "What is it saying?" Literally. For example, let's look at Matthew 5:3, "Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of God." What is this saying?
Literally the sentence says that those who are poor in spirit - literally the word is "bankrupt" are blessed - chosen, happy, in a good state - because they have the kingdom - or presence - of God and his purposes.
Okay. Hmmm. The first bite is "What?"
Second, fork in the second bite: "So what?" What difference does the "what" make? Apply it to your life.
Well, if I'm spiritually poor - or bankrupt - rather than being disqualified or cut off from God and his world - I'm actually closer to possessing it. Wow! That's pretty huge! The "what" becomes an amazing "so what?" in the second bite.
Obviously, no one can live and thrive off of two bites a day. We need more than that - a full balanced meal - to grow fully in our relationship with God. But two bites are a good way to begin.
"What?" And "So what?" Two bites that can help us all grow up to be big enough to like studying the Bible.
Elisa Morgan is an author and speaker and the cohost of Discover the Word and contributor to Our Daily Bread. Her books include The Beauty of Broken, Hello, Beauty Full, and She Did What She Could. Connect with Elisa @elisa_morgan on Twitter, on Facebook and elisamorganauthor on Instagram.