Now don't get me wrong...I am in no way a health nut that lives on berries and granola. I love a good burger, and cake is a weakness of mine; but lately I've been trying much harder to watch what I eat. I am trying to drop a few of my middle-age-spread pounds and get back to my "fighting" weight as it were. In doing so, I've been a LOT more careful about what I eat...well, most of the time. There are days when I fail, like yesterday, and today I can feel it.
You'd think that by my age I'd remember that what I take into my body makes a difference, but I still fall prey at times to whatever is "easy" or "looks tempting." Yesterday it was a huge bar-b-que sandwich - make that TWO huge bar-b-que sandwiches - and a really big handful of sugary creme-filled cookies. It sounds awful now, but at the time it was easy and sounded good, so I ate them.
A couple of weeks ago I did something similar...I woke up and was feeling kind of lazy so instead of fixing myself something for breakfast, I decided to eat one of those Swiss Rolls that look so yummy and all I had to do was open the package. Immediately after eating it I felt awful - not guilty - just yucky! My body almost yelled at me, "What are you doing to me?!?!?! Couldn't you have at least eaten cereal?!" After a night of rest, instead of reaching for something that would fuel my day, I chose junk. Bad move. It took hours to shake that sluggish feeling and get on with my day.
All this food...make that junk-food...has got me thinking. If what I put in my physical body makes such a difference, doesn't it make sense that what I put into my spiritual body makes a difference as well? My physical body will rise up and yell at me with a headache or that weighed down feeling. My spiritual body sends me signals, too if I'll just pay attention. I start to worry, I feel a lot of self doubt, I get jealous...you get the picture. I just feel yucky.
Don't get me wrong. I see nothing wrong with eating that snack cake occasionally or those cookies. The key is that FIRST I have to have consumed what my body NEEDS to function, then I can have the treats on the side in moderation. My problem comes when I reach first for the easy option and then realize I've stuffed my day's intake with junk. I only have some many calories in a day; I can choose to use them on junk or on something that will fuel my body. (Honestly, no one needs too much sugar in their tank!)
This takes planning. If I don't decide ahead of time what to do, when I am tired I will almost always pick the easiest option. That snack cake will seem too enticing and those cookies will seem an easy source of energy if I don't use my head and realize both are just empty calories and will only serve to pull be down.
Spiritually, I also have to think ahead and make decisions of what I will and will not do. Otherwise, I will be tempted to go with the flow or just fill my hours with sweets (you know what I mean - junk tv, computer time, etc.), and I will find I've filled up on junk with no room left for the nutrition of the Word and time with God. Before long I'll feel yucky and out of sorts and wonder why!
If the old saying "You are what you eat" is true, I need to take a good hard look at what I consume both physically and spiritually. As one commentary I read put it, "Our body can work only with the food it is given." I only get so many calories and hours in my day. How I use them is up to me.
Oh, and by the way, after a healthy breakfast and some water, my headache is gone.
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread." But he answered, "It is written, "'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" (Matthew 4:1-4)
"Give us this day our daily bread" (Matthew 6:11).
For a good article on spiritual food, check out this link: Spiritual food