As long as we use food as a means to our finite ends (for weight loss, comfort, entertainment, to feel something and to give us an identity), we look to an earthy gift to be God and to satisfy our infinite need for love and truth. That’s right, we use FOOD to try and squeeze the infinite out of the finite and we blind ourselves from the gift that food is designed to be.
Food was designed to be a gift of nourishment, a means of grace and a way to remember who you are and how you are naturally designed to be interconnected, interrelated and interdependent on all things. I can promise you that Jesus never counted calories, never dieted and never used food to avoid his fears, fill his time or change his feelings. While Jesus was aware of our need for food and he was also very aware our need for more. This is why Jesus fed the hungry, cooked for his disciples, lived, died and promised eternal fullness from someone other than food. How many times did he say “I am the Bread of Life. The one who comes to Me will never be hungry, and the one who believes in Me [as Savior] will never be thirsty.”
Jesus did not just come to give us eternal life but to enable us to live in this world as we are designed- as human beings. We are not spiritual beings having a human experience. We are human beings invited to be and become our best selves and in being very human and living as human beings, we have been invited to participate in a relationship with God- right here and right now on earth. This means- what you do and what you are doing right now, ESPECIALLY the must mundane and ordinary tasks MATTER.
In fact, they not only matter on earth to you and your neighbor, but they matter to God. The Bible very clearly teaches that everything we say, feel, think and do…and everything we don’t do, say, feel and think have both natural and eternal consequences. Even though the reasons and purposes may be far beyond our reasoning and understanding, everything we do and don’t do as finite and fallible human beings is part of some amazing story.
As Christians, we don’t have to look far to see that we have been given the perfect example of how we are designed to live on earth as human beings by God. We have also been resurrected to new life AND we have the Holy Spirit living inside of us/ transforming us, praying for us and guiding us. With all this help, you would think that a Christian would be one of the healthiest individuals physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and relationally. Likewise, you would think that Christians by their very name, “little Christs” would be a community so full of truth, love, acceptance and wisdom that they would have no room for spiritual or physical starvation or gluttony.
Likewise, I think it would be reasonable to assume that Christians who personally know The Way, The Truth and The Life would imitate him and by doing what Jesus did and imitating him, they would not hoard any gift that they have been freely given. Especially, when their hearts and hands have been opened to receive everything they need from God and they have been set free to give everything they have been given to their neighbors.
Did Jesus not call us to “Love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and love our neighbors as ourselves.”
The Bible says God is Love. Consequently, love by it’s very nature is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent and infinite. If this is true, then it would mean that we finite and fallible creatures cannot control or contain love but in personal relationship with the divine and in personal relationships with both creatures and creation- we can be a place where love passes through. We can easily and naturally, and in very simple and human ways give and receive God.
Knowing who we are and how we are naturally designed to receive and give love, we could rest assured that as love moves through us, it consumes and transforms our spirits, hearts, minds, bodies, and relationships. Love would change who we are, what we do, why we do what we do, how we do it, and where we do whatever it is we do. Love would leave no room for pride, guilt, shame or fear, and it certainly would not tempt us to use food to avoid our truths, numb our feelings and distract from our deep needs for communion and community. Likewise, Jesus knew it was love not food who would transform our thoughts, words, deeds, desires and fill our infinite hunger.
The truth is that we don’t have a food problem but we do have a love problem. We do not love our neighbors because we do not love ourselves because we obviously have no idea how much God loves us.
Without knowing this love, we won’t know who we are and how we are designed to be love and truth. Therefore, we can never receive or give food or exercise, money, success, work, truth or love as gifts. Neither will we see ourselves as the amazing gifts that we are designed to be or be able to choose the gifts that are designed for us that remind us of who we are, how much we are loved and how we are designed to share all our gifts with our neighbors.
To be healthy is to be whole and to be whole is to taste, touch, smell, hear and see love. In being whole, holy, healthy and human, we are able to receive and give foods that are good, excellent and worthy of us. In fact, these good foods become gifts of love that nourishes our spirits, hearts, minds, bodies and relationships. It is not just our spirits, hearts and minds that are sacred, but our bodies are also holy places where we can receive the gifts from our good dad, experience the natural overflow of thankfulness and share our gifts with our neighbors.
When we know who we are and how we designed to be healthy, whole, holy and human, food is set free to be food and food becomes a means of grace. However, it is only when we are full of love and truth that we can we receive and give this gift of nourishment through holy, whole and healthy relationships with God, with ourselves and with our neighbors. Likewise, it is only by our receiving and giving can we practice who we are and how we are designed to be nourished spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically and relationally by love and food.