Every Bite’s a Blessing


Gluttony (1)I’m intrigued by several things in life. But nothing intrigues me more than this: What does it take to trigger…and sustain…life change? What does it take for me to get better at doing what’s best for me? And to do it more quickly. And more faithfully.

What’s the catalyst of true transformation…transformation that causes us to become more like the person we are designed to be? Knowledge doesn’t seem to do it. We all have more knowledge than we know what to do with. We can rattle off the benefits of change, but perks don’t seem to do the trick, either.

Like many pastors throughout the world, our pastor, Todd, pours his heart into the weekend messages – heart and soul. But quite frankly, I sometimes wonder what difference a great message makes. What difference does it make in the way we think, or in the decisions we make. Does the truth really have an impact on how we live life…in the long run?

Okay, I’m probably going a little too deep here, considering our topic. Our topic is discovering a blessing in every bite of food.

I’ve recently made a life change. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say I’ve recently begun a life change. It’s a change in the making. But my change-in-the-making was not motivated by a gifted speaker. It was not inspired by some profound insight. Or by knowledge.

It was inspired by our five-year-old grandson, Landyn. It happened during one of my Michigan visits to see my family there. And I’m quite sure he didn’t mean to do it.

It was a simple observation: “Grandpa, you’re getting a little chubby.” And he grinned.

And I grinned back. And I meant it (if it’s possible to mean a grin).

I grinned because it was true. And it was cute. And it started my neurological wheels turning.

For several months I’d noticed a profile in the mirror that I’d never imagined I’d see. It was the profile of an overweight (okay, “chubby”), little-past-middle-aged grandpa-guy. So I’d suck it in for a few seconds, just to remember what I used to look like. Then I’d tighten my belt and get on with my day. According to the chart on the wall of my doctor’s examination room, I was one category shy of being obese.

When I got back to home to New Mexico, I was motivated to face my chubbiness. I began by posting a plea for help from my Facebook friends. I imposed only two restrictions: no diet suggestions, and no exercise guilt trips. That’s it. These things may be great for other people, but they’ve become a bit cliche. I was looking for some fresh ideas.

Some folks suggested supplements. My son, Aaron, suggested tapeworms. I’m sure supplements have merit, but they’re not my thing. So I looked in to the worm suggestion. I found an ad from the 1920s that promised worm eggs were “easy to swallow.” And exercise and dieting were not a required component of the tapeworm regimen. I was intrigued. Unfortunately, Amazon does not seem to carry tapeworm eggs, so I nixed that idea.

Another friend, Chuck, suggested that I make hunger my friend, rather than a beast to be fed. This simple idea spawned a plan: Eat everything I want, but less. Enjoy every bite. And make friends with my hunger.

That was six weeks…and 20 pounds…ago.

And I’ve experienced some fairly significant side effects (besides gaining a couple notches in my belt). I spend less money on food. I have more energy. Most important to me—I’m more thankful. Which makes me more aware of the needs around me.

I’m thankful for every bite. I enjoy the flavor, and the texture. I chew slowly. I savor even the slightest hint of seasoning.

Knowing that I’ll take only a few bites – maybe a half dozen or so – I’m not in a hurry to pound it down. Then I put whatever’s left back in the fridge for later. It was a plan that required me to do what seemed unnatural at first. It was a plan that required intentional, consistent choices.

It was a plan that required me to weigh every hunger craving I had against what I wanted in the long run…which was to be less chubby. And more honoring of God’s provision in my life.

I discovered that my craving for food – in the past – had trumped my better judgment. My cravings – rather than my will – were behind the wheel…in the driver’s seat of my life. It was akin to a spoiled child wrecking havoc in the home, and nobody doing anything to stop it.

The intentional choice thing is beginning to spill over into other areas of my life. I’m aware that I often use too many words to say what I want to say. I’ve noticed that too often I’m impatient about things that have no lasting significance. And I’ve noticed I’m too quick to judge.

It seems as if the more grateful I am for the things that have been entrusted to me to sustain my life, the more careful I am to treat these things with respect. I feel less “gluttonous,” not just with respect to food, but with respect to everything that matters to me. I savor the things that are precious to me.

I’ve become more attuned to the Source of my new-found restraint and awareness—the Spirit of God. He’s the source of something called the “Fruit of the Spirit,” and self-control is a component of this supernatural fruit (Galatians 5.22-23).

Yes, I get hungry. And I’m thankful for my hunger. It has become my friend, reminding me that everything I have is a gift. And I’ve been gifted with things most people in the world can only dream about. I can eat as much as I want, as often as I want. And I can eat as little as I want, as seldom as I want.

I can truly say I eat to my heart’s content.

Every bite’s a blessing.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Shari Dayhoff
    Mar 01, 2014 @ 10:16:35

    Rod and Rose….praying for your amazing weekend….looking forward to an update on Monday night! Thanks for all you do! In Him, S.

    Reply

    • Rod & Rose
      Mar 02, 2014 @ 23:46:00

      What an amazing time! So happy that yo and Eric are in the class! See you Monday…blessings!

      Reply

    • Rod & Rose
      Mar 04, 2014 @ 09:38:38

      Hi Shari,
      We missed you and Eric on Monday. It was a wonderful weekend at the Tamaya! Papa God did an amazing work in the lives of so many couples! Looking forward to what God is going to do in and through you and Eric! God bless you abundantly!

      Reply

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