I met with a friend today for a little spiritual direction. Actually, he’s going to meet with me each week from now until Christmas.
As homework and for my prayer, he gave me three Scripture passages: 1 Corinthians 13 (love), 2 Corinthians 4:8-11 (stress), and Matthew 6:25-33). Of the three, the passage from Matthew had the most meaning for me.When I was trying to decide if I was going to become a vegetarian, this passage from St. Matthew was given to me the first night of an eight-day silent retreat. Throughout that retreat, the line, “is life not more than food..?” really hit home.
For many of us, we get great pleasure from food. This is an o.k. thing, as long as your life is in balance. But there’s a lot of folks, me included, whose lives are out of balance, and food begins to be used in unhealthy ways.
When we’re happy, we eat. When we’re sad, we eat. When we’re stressed, we eat. The list goes on and on. But food can’t satisfy all our needs. There are a lot of people who seem to think that food does meet our needs, and it’s safe to say that’s why we have the obesity epidemic that we do.
I’m not judging anyone, but the research is there. This Scripture passage was a wake up call for me. Life is more than food! Using food for nourishment, along with a certain amount of pleasure, will keep us in balance. Eat until we’re full, and no more. That will keep us not only happy, but healthy.
We all need to watch what we eat, and choose more fruits and vegetables. He need to strive for a balanced diet, not just sometimes, but all the time.
If you haven’t focused on this, don’t worry. Start tomorrow. Check out your food pantry and refrigerator, and start getting rid of food you know is not the best for you. Visit your local library and get some cookbooks that focus on healthy eating. You’ll be surprised just how many there are.
No matter what, spend more effort paying attention to what you’re eating. Over the long haul, you’ll be glad you did.