Thoughts & Ideas

Taste and see that the Lord is good

26 January, 2011 (12:00) | Thoughts & Ideas

I’m going to try to avoid offending anyone here.  Know that I’m expressing my thoughts, not my rules.  This is an idea that I’ve always struggled with, not something that I’m upset with others for doing.

I don’t really value food.  I define food as the most basic substance that we require to survive.  That’s all I am able to see it as, a maintenance requirement for our bodies.  I do see food as an industry, man-made, sensationalized, and hierarchical.  That scares me, and it always has.

I’m not talking about the content of documentaries like Food, inc or Super-size me.  I’m on a much more basic level.  The NEED for food.  Why do we NEED to enjoy food?  Should we really value taste?  If we could get the same nutritional value of a salad in a pill form, shouldn’t we do that instead?  From a time spent perspective?  From a consuming natural resources perspective?

I look to The Bible for answers, partly because that’s where the struggle was born.  I see where meat is sacrificed.  I see where feasts are held on significant days and times.  I see so many metaphors using food to express how important something is.  I see a lot of bread, wine, water, milk, honey, grains and cheese.  These are all basic foods.  Specifically in the book of Job, he makes the reference to not wanting to eat unsalted food.  He is tormented with life’s unending slavery.  I can only hope that I do not meet the same fate as Job for my questions here…

The point I keep coming back to though is that food is temporary.  There are numerous metaphors to stay away from temporary things.  We should build our homes on permanent ground, we should focus on the things unseen and everlasting, not tangible and mortal.  Are we investing large percentages of our days to temporary and earthly things?  We spend so much time preparing something that we’re just going to destroy right away.

This can be applied to a lot of things besides cooking.  Clothing is temporary and earthly, but we put such emphasis on putting on our Sunday best for church.  Movies are entertaining and can be the launching pad for fellowship, but I can’t think of any other activity where we do nothing for 90 minutes.  Discussing politics will just go on and on and on, and it won’t even change a thing.  Is this what we’re called to do with our time?

It basically comes down to where is the line between actively doing God’s work and resting?  Where is the line between investing time versus return?  Where is the line between rendering unto Caesar and following our calling?

Even if cooking long and intricate meals is the best thing we can do in our lives, isn’t there then something righteous about denying ourselves that pleasure?

Again,  these are my own thoughts and struggles.  If you enjoy cooking, do it!  Family dinner time, the gift of hospitality, and inviting others to break bread with you are some of the most tremendous things to do in our life!  I just know that I’m not going to be able to do those things every day and every meal, especially if I’m to value other areas of my life.  Enter struggle.

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  • http://twitter.com/oh_hey_jake Jake Nelko

    pretty interesting, man. i’ve thought about it before, which is odd considering that i do value good food and enjoyable meals. mine’s been more monetary; like, why does it matter if i spend $3 or $30 on a meal when, at the end of the day, it’s digested and used for energy with the same end result. i think that food is just one of those enjoyable things like music that we can use for good, or worship for evil.