Anyone who knows me well knows that I enjoy good food. Anyone who doesn’t know me well but takes a look at my physique isn’t surprised.
If you are what you eat, I will have to admit that: 1. I am not always the healthiest choice on the menu; and 2. I am, however, tasty and never boring.
I even plan trips and meetings around food. I have one friend that I would describe as my “ian” friend. No, his name is not Ian, but when we get together, we like to eat food that ends in “ian”: Indian, Egyptian, Mediterranean (close enough). Another friend is a steak and/or seafood buddy. I’ve got a couple of others that will almost always involve Starbucks.
When I am eating a meal that I know my kids would enjoy, I take a picture with my phone and send it to them. Some people think that is cruel, that I am perhaps torturing them. That is true less than 25 percent of the time. (I am not above the occasional harassing food photo).
But, in reality, I am sharing my love of food with them because, at the moment, I can’t share my love of them with my food. I wouldn’t send a photo to them if I weren’t first thinking of them and wishing we could share this meal.
I share food photos with another friend who has moved several hours away. We used to have lunch together at least every other week. Now we are lucky if we manage to get together every other year. The food photos we send to each other always deliver a message: “I thought of you when I was eating this, and I miss you, my friend.”
I feel like I should interrupt this and say, “Hello. My name is Gerry and I am a food addict.” But, I’m not going to. I am unashamed. Yes, I need to make healthier choices, and I really am trying to do that more often. But you will never see me take the approach that food is no more than fuel.
God put these wonderful things in my mouth called taste buds, and I intend to enjoy this gift while continuing to learn how to enjoy it in a way – like enjoying smaller portions – that allows me to honor Him with all of my physical being. He does not, after all, intend for me to be controlled by those taste buds.
Our lives also matter enough to Him that He wants us to develop a taste for more than good food.
Psalm 34:8: “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.”
Psalm 119:103: “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”
John 4:34: “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.”
Now that’s a meal to be savored!
Dr. Gerry Lewis, author, blogger, church consultant and leadership coach, serves as executive director of the Harvest Baptist Association headquartered in Decatur.