If there’s one thing I wish we’d all experience, it's the sacred in the midst of the mundane. But how do we do it?
Church history argues the way we turn this wish into a reality is by practicing ‘spiritual disciplines.’ But if you are anything like me, I’m sure you’re saying, “Who has the time?” We function on a level in which we constantly feel overworked, overwhelmed, tired, anxious, stressed, or a combination of them.
What we need is a built-in, always reliable moment in which we can encounter the divine without it throwing us too far off course. And I think we have it. It’s the spiritual discipline of eating. By definition, any activity in which we engage repeatedly is a practice or a discipline. The amazing thing about eating is that we all do it . . . several times a day . . . week after month after decade. So this ritual can actually represent a spiritual vehicle for experiencing the divine.
Many people take yoga classes, martial arts, etc. (both wonderful practices) with the goal of expanding their consciousness. But like I said, who has the time? How about the daily opportunity for spiritual realization held within every bite of food? The simple practice of eating is actually a clever and convenient spiritual tool of the highest order. It is built-in to our daily routine. And it marks some of the most significant moments in all of life. Think of the meal scenes in the bible:
Eating is unbelievably important to God and to the Bible. Some of the most significant moments happen at Banquet tables. The end of time is even painted as a feast. We see it in Revelation and in Isaiah.
What is it about eating that helps us encounter the divine? Think about biting into a freshly baked slice of corn bread or tasting warm banana pudding. This sparks a moment for me that only the presence of the Spirit can top.
I think every time we sit down to eat we have the chance to experience something divine. What if we saw the times we eat to be spiritual renewals and not just energy boosters? I think we’d think of God more. I think we’d feel less stressed. I think we’d learn to value the holy, thin spaces of our lives.
But who has time for that?
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