The Spiritual Discipline of…Sustenance

“I am the bread of life…” -Jesus

The concept of three square meals is lost on me. I’m never hungry in the mornings when I wake up, and when I’m feeling particularly health-conscious I have to force feed myself yogurt or some kind of cereal with my coffee. Lunch tends to be hit or miss, either a huge meal or just kind of grazing in the afternoons, and with night time meetings, I end up eating with Andy much too much and much too late. There are days I find eating just plain frustrating and more of a nuisance, unless it’s a dinner party or going out to eat at a nice restaurant with a few glasses of wine (that’s another topic for later). Deep down, I know there’s something faulty with my perspective on food.

I really could take this in so many directions. There’s all the cultural phenomenon of diets/weight loss programs, eating disorders/disordered eating, and organic foods, along with the trends of food/eating competitions, bizarre foods (to steal Andrew Zimmern’s show premise), fast food, and food festivals. The spectrum has huge extremes, and some of it is almost frightening, sometimes gross, and sometimes intriguing. No doubt, food permeates our way of being at so many levels, it’s necessary for life. Perhaps this is part of why my mother whenever we chat on the phone always asks first about what I have eaten/am eating that day. She wants to make sure that I am eating because that is a sign of health and vitality.

There is something wonderfully gracious…or grace-full about eating…the receiving, consuming, and digesting…it’s a reminder of my vulnerability and humanity, my very tangible needs, as well as a reminder to be thankful…for what is being provided so I can live each day. The spiritual discipline of sustenance for me is about eating regularly, eating well, and enjoying eating…for life.

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