"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going." Ecclesiastes 9:10
When is the last time you made a half-hearted attempt at something? I know I do it often. For quite a long while there I was feeling like I really had lost the desire to do much cooking for my family- so I was going it with a half-hearted attitude. I was cooking because food was essential, but I wasn't going the extra mile to see that it tasted wonderful or was particularly healthful. Thank God He got me over that feeling. He really did, because after probably six months or so of my poor attitude in the kitchen, I've been enjoying having that spark again. Now, when I purpose to feed my family, I am doing so with all my might. I am using my mind and my hands with my best possible effort to create delicious food to feed my family with. That's so important.
Really, it's more important than I was giving it credit for. As a mom, I am responsible for the well-being of my children- for their health and their overall care. When I feed them garbage, it actually can have lifelong repercussions, and that's just not acceptable to me- and according to the scriptures I've found, it's not acceptable to God either.
"Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
When I dump a package loaded with chemicals and preservatives in a pot and call it dinner, I'm feeding my children things that are toxic to their bodies. When I decide I don't feel like cooking at all and head for a drive through or the pizza place, I'm filling their bodies with filler- not the important nutrients and vitamins they need. As the parent, I am responsible for what my children eat, and when they eat garbage, that's my responsibility. No matter what. I can just imagine the conversations in heaven when God asks why I fed my children all that garbage that shortened their life span. And I say that I just was feeling lazy, or that they simply wouldn't eat the fresh fruits and vegetables, so I just kept making them chicken nuggets and hot dogs. I suspect lightning would strike me right then and there. As adults we spend so much of our life scrutinizing our diets, trying to eat better and more wisely, but while we are making ourselves a big salad for dinner, we're serving up the kids neon orange mac-n-cheese and pretending it's healthy because there are some ground up dehydrated vegetables in the pasta noodles.
As I read the verses here in 1 Corinthians, I also see the second verse there, "I was bought with a price, so glorify God". We were bought with a great, great price. Jesus died so that we might live an abundant life. That abundance is not supposed to include a horrendous diet full of excuses. I've been saying since January that food issues have greatly been on my mind, and that feeling is just not going away. When I think about the sacrifice that Jesus made for me, and for my children, I am not honoring His sacrifice when I feed them garbage. It's really that simple. I know lots of people say "it's just food". But it isn't. Every person on the planet needs food to sustain them and to give them health. It's not just food- it's life. And when we purposely eat foods over and over that will affect our health adversely, we're dishonoring the sacrifice that Jesus made for us, and we're definitely not honoring our temple.
Wow. That's SO not where I was going today at all with that verse in Ecclesiastes. But I guess that's where the Holy Spirit wanted me to go. I have been much more mindful of what I've been feeding my kids as of late. We got a little sidetracked on our camping vacation- because when you're in the middle of the woods, you eat what's convenient, no necessarily the best for you. And I don't think that including a convenience food every once in a while, or hitting a drive through every once in a while is a bad thing- the bad thing is that those have become every day. A fast food restaurant is a great savior when you're traveling and don't have the time to pack a lunch. But it should not be a replacement for real food four nights a week- or in many cases, it's become a daily event for people. And that's how it's become in our society. It's terribly sad, and I do wish that there were more that I could do on a personal level to help those people that I know to do better with food. Every time we're at the dance school for mealtimes, I cringe when I see all the microwave meals that are convenient, but loaded with sodium and preservatives, and the only nutritional value they have is that they stop a grumbling stomach for a time. Cardboard would do that if you ate enough of it.
So I'm praying this morning for divine inspiration. I don't know. Is it possible that I am so driven about food simply for the benefit of my children and my husband? I just don't think so, but I also don't see how I'm supposed to take how I feel and what I know to a broader level. At the very least though, I can pray. I can pray that the truth will be revealed about a lot of the foods that people eat every day, that there will be honesty and truth in food packaging, and that those I love dearly will also see the light and be aware of the horrible things they are doing to their bodies- and their children's bodies. May God help us to honor the sacrifice Jesus made for us by helping us to be better aware of the things we put into our bodies.