As you may be aware, over the past year or so, I’ve been trying to make some health changes in my life. Changes for the better. As a result, I’ve had to become a little more aware of what I’m doing and what I’m eating.
While it used to be OK to just pop open a bag of Doritos and eat until I couldn’t any more, I’m trying to be a little more “adult” with my diet. That’s diet with a little “d”, not a DIET – you know the kind where you change your habits for life, not the kind where you change for a while and then go back to where you used to be.
I’ve had to start paying attention to the ingredients that I cook. And, since I’m a USAmerican (and an unmarried guy), I tend to eat a lot of prepared foods. You know, the stuff that comes in a box and cooks in 10 minutes in your favorite microwave.
One of the dangers with that is that many of the things that taste good, that my mind, body, and taste buds crave, are not super-healthy. In fact, they may have inordinate ammounts of sodium or fat or both. Or they may be loaded with sugar (you know I love a Snickers bar). But in the end, Snickers doesn’t really satisfy. It’ll leave you high and dry when the sugar and caffeine wear off.
Such is also often the case with our spiritual diets. Certainly, there is nothing wrong with a prepared meal of the Word. In fact, a devotional or a topical book can be a wonderful way to draw closer to God. The writings of christian authors both old and new, mystics, and monks can give enormous spiritual depth.
But, in the same way that you have to watch your ingredients when you prepare a spiritual diet, you also need to be aware of what’s going into prepared spiritual meals. In the same way that we need a certain amount of fat and protein and carbohydrates in our diets, so we also need Truth, grace, love, forgiveness, and discipline. And, also, in the same way that no two people need exactly the same diet, no two people need exactly the same spiritual diet.
Absolutely consider using prepared devotionals and lectionaries and so on. Use them as supplements or as quick meals in your life.
But don’t pass up on fresh manna from the Father. Only he knows what you really need. Spend some time with God each day to receive directly from him. Allow the Holy Spirit to permeate your life and to form you into the image of Christ as you submit yourself to the Word.