When I was a child I refused to eat peas. The odor was enough to send me gagging. (These peas were of the canned variety, however; maybe I would have appreciated fresh?)
As I matured, I grew to appreciate peas—fresh or frozen though, not canned—when they are included as part of a dish (in my estimation, peas are not a side dish—ever).
Food aversions are common among children, and most of these we grow out of as our taste buds age. (See this article for more on how our taste buds work.)
Simply put, as we age, our tastes change. Flavors that we once found unappealing become pleasant; conversely, foods that we once craved become less interesting.
When I was a child, my stomach was never tired of sweets and rarely desired vegetables. But now, as an adult, my tastes have shifted: I tend to eat quite well . . . and then top it off with something sweet. (That’s better than eating all sweets and topping it off with something fresh, right?!)
My taste buds are maturing. And my food choices are improving.
I see this maturing and change-in-taste happening in my heart’s palette as well. As God has healed the broken places in my heart and soul, the healing has changed my palette.
Things that were once unappealing—such as Bible study and choosing to be kind and placing others before myself—have now become pleasant because of God’s work in me. He has empowered me to be like Jesus, changing me from the inside out to want to mirror Him to the world.
Conversely, things that I once craved—attention and praise and place and recognition—have now lost their luster. God’s unending love is now being poured into my heart, filling up the empty spots that longed for satisfaction through whatever means I could get it.
Spiritual maturation is a lifelong process, so my taste buds have much more growing to do! But the bit of work God has done so far has revealed my previous choices for what they are: dishes devoid of nutritional value for the soul.
Leigh McLeroy sums it up like this, from her book The Beautiful Ache: “I want more than an occasional reckless, sin-induced thrill. I long for a passionate, abundant life.”
Although my heart’s palette used to desire the occasional reckless, sin-induced thrill, I now know it won’t satisfy. My taste buds are ruined for the ultimate satisfaction of Christ and the passionate, abundant life He offers.