Soul Sculpting Project: Playing with My Food

Soul Sculpting Project: Playing with My Food

I’ve been playing with my food more lately and it is making a difference.

Why do I eat? Why do you eat?

Hunger is one reason I eat, but so many more reasons dominate my decision to put food in my mouth. I eat as social connection. Others are eating so I join in. When I am tired or a little sick my first attempt at a fix is food. Though food is my automatic fix for these situations I am noticing that it is not usually the best fix.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

When, how, and what I eat matters to my body.

And food matters to my soul. Food and faith go together.

I delight in the wisdom of Ecclesiastes 9:7 that says, “Eat your bread with pleasure”.

My feelings about fasting are another matter. Jewish kings and prophets fasted, Jesus fasted, early church leaders fasted. Followers of Jesus throughout history have fasted. I, however, don’t like fasting. I experimented with fasting long ago, had a bad experience and just wrote it off as “not for me.” That is until lately – when I discovered some tiny steps into fasting.

I had always thought of fasting as a big commitment to an extended event.

Recently I discovered the idea of simply extending my over-night fast and delaying break-fast. I could wait an hour or more to break-fast. A tiny step into fasting. I have already noticed this tiny step increasing my well-being.

When fasting was a big commitment I did not explore it’s possibilities. When I trimmed fasting down to a tiny delay, a world of possibilities opened. This tiny step is warming me up to try more steps.

The idea of creating larger windows of time when we do not eat is receiving attention in the health research world and the discoveries are eye-openers for me. These smaller fasts can help our body create new stem cells and clean out our system (autophagy). For many of us, our bodies are designed to benefit from fasting.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

When it comes to eating we are not all the same. Some of us have a pretty healthy relationship with food, others of us do not. Some of us could eat more, many of us could eat less. We differ in the types of food our bodies need and the best time to put this food in our bodies.

Christian leader John Cassian (AD 360 – AD 435) observed this difference in the way each of us relates to food. Instead of setting one universal law for eating he invited followers of Jesus to pay attention to three aspect of eating.

  • The type of food we eat,
  • The amount of food we eat
  • When/the time we eat

Careful attention to these three topics will help us develop a plan for a relationship with food that will nourish the body and soul.

How is God inviting you to relate to food?

What tiny step could you take to improve your relationship with food?

I am making two tiny improvement steps.

First, I am heeding Ecclesiastes to eat my food “with pleasure”. For me this requires paying attention to my food and deliberately enjoying a few bites.

Second, I am extending my fasting windows until I am actually hungry. I think waiting to eat until I am hungry is God’s invitation to me for a healthier body and soul.

What tiny step is a good fit for you?

Tiny Step Ideas

  • Take full pleasure in one bite of food each meal
  • Chew 1 bite 10 more times
  • Delay eating for 5 minutes
  • Eat one ‘good for me’ food
  • Eat one new food
  • Enjoy God’s company for several seconds as we eat
  • Express gratitude for a food
  • Talk to God about my relationship with food

Soul Sculpting Project: Playing with My Food

  1. Invite God’s company in exploring a new way to relate to food this week.
  2. Choose a tiny step to change your eating, one that fits you.
  3. Have fun playing with your food.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

So whether you eat or drink, or what ever you do, do all to the Glory of God.

(1 Corinthians 10:31)

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