The older I get, the more I like food. When I was a kid, I ate most everything my mom made, which was mostly meat and potatoes, and soup, and toast, and pancakes, etc. I do recall an aversion to peanut butter, strawberries, as well as cooked spinach and Brussel sprouts when I was younger. But at different times, I eventually overcame these aversions, when I tried some good examples of these foods, which tells me most food can be good when done right. I like most every vegetable best when raw or steamed, even Brussel sprouts, which I grew in my garden one year. There has also been a movement in recent years away from mass produced produce and canned/processed food toward more flavorful, locally grown things for your dinner table. For the past 5-10 years I planted several varieties of heirloom tomatoes that I enjoyed trying and sharing each year. What do you most enjoy about food? Do you live to eat, or eat to live?
This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot. Ecclesiastes 5:18
Cooking is definitely an art. There has also been a boom in the amount of cooking/baking shows on television since the days of Julia Child, Justin Wilson, and Emeril Lagasse. People don’t just like to eat, they like to watch others prepare and eat good food as well. You can go out to eat almost anywhere and visit a local greasy spoon to one of the top restaurants in the world. If you are like me, you may find it fun to explore new restaurants and discover new ways that others prepare food. My wife doesn’t like to experiment too much with recipes, but can follow one well and makes great meals at times. We signed up for a menu plan called emeals and for several years tried 2-5 new recipes each week without repeats, except when specifically requested to try a favorite again. You could go through a cookbook and try a new meal every day, or eat your favorites for the rest of your life and still be happy, so long as you don’t start to worship or become addicted to what you eat and drink. Is there anything, besides water, you feel you could not live without?
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. Matthew 4:4
I could share with you the best food experiences I have ever had, some in my own home and some in far off countries, but it would probably mean nothing to you, as you were not there to experience it with me. One of the best pizzas of my life was made a month ago by my wife and included fresh roast beef and blue cheese. The best steak I had was grilled with some friends on a farm near Centerville. I met some strangers in Louisiana who shared with me some fresh boiled shrimp they caught that morning. I think back to the Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts I shared and enjoyed with my family over the years. When I think about it, most of my favorite food experiences were those I shared with others. Maybe it makes us appreciate the experience even more, despite the quality of the food. When we take communion, it is not just about the food we consume, but sharing in the experience with those around us and with God himself. What is the best meal you can remember?
And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.” Revelation 19:9
Is there more to life than what you put in your mouth? God gave us our senses, not just to survive, but to occasionally stop and appreciate and enjoy the life we have been given. Not just to constantly chase after our next meal, but to be thankful just for having a meal each time we stop to consume it. When you give thanks and slow down to enjoy each meal, like it was your last supper, you start to appreciate all we have been blessed with, just a little more. When we start to have reverence for each meal or glass of water as if we were taking communion, God does a work in you, not just in physical sustenance, but in your spirit as well. We shouldn’t just revere food and drink like so many do, but to revere the One who made it and is the ultimate Provider for all things. The next time you sit down to dine on whatever you have been blessed with, give thanks not just for the food in front of you, but for the ability to commune it with the One who made it, and you, and all those around you as well. Make sure you don’t just satisfy the desires of your belly, but make sure your spirit is fed as well. Enjoy your meal!
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. John 6:35
Yours in Christ,