Yes, that is a basket of apples and sweet potatoes! I recently experienced a “fast” of sorts based on the book “7” by Jen Hatmaker. This book will challenge you to recognize the excess most of us live with in several areas of our lives… food being one of them. So for seven days I would only eat seven foods. This was not just a “let me see if I can do this” experiment but a time to really ask the Lord to speak to me and help me become even more passionate about helping those who have so much less than I do. I mean if I’m going to be an advocate for hungry children, maybe I need to be hungry once in a while to even try to understand what they must feel. During this short time I felt the Lord revealed a few insights that I want to share with you.
- Intentional Living- By nature I am a grazer, meaning I eat small amounts of food all the time it seems. There are many times that if I’m around food that is out I will pick up a bite and eat without even questioning if I’m hungry or not. It just goes in the mouth. Not a good habit to be in. We do this so often in our work places or with gatherings. Food is such a part of our daily lives and socializing. So during this time I had to be intentional and at times stop myself from eating something that was not on my list. I had to make conscious choices. I had to plan my meals. It takes a while to cook a sweet potato and I did not want to be caught without one ready to eat. I could no longer graze my way through the day without thinking. We can do that with life if we are not careful and it usually doesn’t turn out to well if we move aimlessly through life without putting some thoughts into our decisions.
- While I had limited choices of foods to eat, I could eat as much of them as I wanted. So there was no real chance I would starve during this time. Did I get hungry? Sometimes I did. Sometimes I had to get out of the kitchen because I really wanted to call this off and call it legalism and move on. But I knew I couldn’t do this because I felt this was something the Lord wanted me to do. So, hungry? Yes and no. But satisfied? NO! I had everything I needed in a well balanced diet but I wasn’t satisfied. A similar question the Lord can ask each one of us. We have everything we need in our relationship with Jesus, but are we satisfied? Am I? Are you? At the same time the Lord was asking if I was satisfied in Him, I also felt He was asking if I hunger for Him? Only Jesus can create a deep hunger for more of Him and then be the One who can satisfy.
I’m thankful the Lord gave me this time to slow down and live intentionally with Him. A time that He also reminded me to “fix my eyes on Jesus” and stay the course of what He has called me to do. I am also very thankful the Lord led me to commit to only 7 days of the 7 foods and not an entire month like Jen Hatmaker. Not sure that would have turned out very well. One thing I’m pretty sure of, I would have needed a mulligan on my food choices. Curious to what my 7 foods were? Plain oatmeal, blueberries, apples, whole wheat bread, green beans, black beans and sweet potatoes!
Here’s to living a satisfied life in Christ!