Jean Newell, Associate Pastor, Sun Lakes United Methodist Church
Want to lose weight? It seems everyone struggles with a weight issue one time or another during their lifetime, and why not when so much of our time is focused around food? Numerous television and radio commercials tout the visually-appealing, aroma-enticing, pallet-pleasing images of a variety of food; fast food to sit-down restaurant specialties. However, in recent years, more attention has been drawn to health issues that result from being overweight. It seems as if in contrast to all the food commercials, there are numerous ads, both on TV and radio, declaring the benefits of specialized diets, exercise programs and surgical options guaranteeing the loss of weight and a “more glamorous you!”
What if the secret to losing weight was found in simple parenting advice? “Chew your food! Don’t swallow it whole! Taste your food and see the difference it makes! Eat slower and appreciate the food more.”
What if the same applied to our “spiritual food?” Rather than glancing at a daily devotional or saying a quick “amen,” or being satisfied with an hour of worship once a week, what if one became more intentional about being in a relationship with the Lord? The writer of Psalm 34 wrote, “O taste and see the Lord is good.” (Psalm 34:8) How does one “taste”? By chewing slowly and not quickly swallowing. In doing so, one gains a greater appreciation of the spices used to flavor the food.
By intentionally taking time during the day to be with the Lord wherever one is; at home, the grocery store or in the car, one becomes more aware and gains a greater appreciation of God’s loving presence and amazing grace. Truly, worship is not a “one-hour, once a week special.” Worship happens every time one prays, reads Scripture, listens to and sings Spirit-inspired music, helps someone in need or soaks in the beauty of God’s world surrounding us.
While it is important to be physically healthy, isn’t it also important that we seek to be spiritually healthy as well? In both situations, might the key to success be simply to “taste and see”?