August 24, 2011

Soul Food

Matt and I are on a diet. It is not a terribly strict diet, but we cannot eat carbohydrates and sugars (including fruit) for a couple of weeks. So we are eating a lot of salads, vegetables, and meat. We are not starving but I have a constant feeling of being slight hungry all day long. Another side effect has been an overall feeling of tiredness. We didn’t realize how much we relied on sugar to keep us going. I have read this is normal when trying to adjust your eating habits.
This tiredness has produced in me sluggishness and a lack of energy that makes my mundane tasks like doing laundry, cleaning, and cooking a little unpleasant. If the kids call from across the house I take a moment longer to respond and drag my feet down the hallway.
Food to the body is so much more than a luxury. Without a healthy diet you are not whole and I can’t wait until we can add fruits and sugar in moderation. My body needs a little of everything to function at its prime and it has a way of telling me when it's not getting all that it needs.
But how does a soul starving manifest itself? A hungry body shows clear signs of distress: weight loss, energy loss, a propensity to illness. What happens when the soul is starving? Does it show?
Jesus said man must not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4). My soul needs food. It needs God-nutrition to function at its prime. It will not enter my body through my mouth and descend to my stomach. It will enter my body through my eyes when I open the Scriptures, through my spirit when I commune in prayer, through my ears when I listen to my brothers and sisters singing love songs to Him on Sunday and my pastor-husband bringing a message of hope.
Can you tell when your soul is starving?
I can tell because when I look in the mirror I see me transforming back to the person I used to be before grace picked me up and set me down the right road. I react like that person, I think like that person, I respond like that person, I live my life like that person. And that person was miserable and made others miserable as well.
My soul cries out when it’s hungry. Like a branch cut off from the life-giving root, I wither. When I disconnect from the source of all good things in my life, I begin to crumble. My heart begins to turn inwards again, selfish, and lonely. Remain in me and I will remain in you, He told us. But I forget and become self-sufficient.
Self-sufficient. I am enough for myself, I proclaim with my behavior. But the truth is, I’m not. I cannot be. Can the plant water itself? Can I satisfy my every soul-need myself? What an arrogant thought that would be!
Oh, that I would feed my soul as hungrily and greedily as I feed my body.  Oh, that I would seek Him every day as voraciously as I seek nourishment and that I may find more satisfaction in Him than I do in any “food” the world offers me.
Have you fed your soul lately?


Bird said...

Ooooh1 Awesome post. I love that! I can feel a disconnect sometimes when my life gets out of balance. If work or relationships or anything else is garnering all my effort and attention instead of my relationship with God i literally feel disconnected like someone unplugged me from my power source.

Amy Sullivan said...

What a post. What an idea about our soul starving. I know my soul is starving when I start getting overly sarcastic and short-tempered, when I feel myself being negative, and when I start to see faults with everyone around me.

Oh, and for some reason blogger won't let me log in...grrr.

Unknown said...

Oh, how I relate to this post. I'm so glad you linked up with SDG tonight, Gaby. I have missed your words! I do not react the same when I am filled as when I am empty and I think this encourages all of us to remain in the One who fills us every single day.

Theresa Miller said...

Gaby, thank you for leaving a comment on Jen's blog. This is wonderful!

"When I look in the mirror I see me transforming back to the person I used to be." and "Like a branch cut off from the life-giving root, I wither." Yes, this resonates! Thank you.

Anonymous said...

This is so good...A book I've read about healthy spiritual attitudes in eating is called "The Diet Alternative" of the ideas is how often we run to food for comfort, for relaxation and for enjoyment, when God wants to be our fulfillment. It really convicted me...

Jennifer said...

Great post, Gaby. When each of my babies were newborns and nursing, one of the things I missed most was reading my Bible and prayer. Because their schedules were changing, and I was so tired, any spiritual discipline was sporadic. And while I know God was giving me a lot of grace, I definitely felt hungry.

Kathleen T. Jaeger said...

No...I have not been feeding my soul lately...and perhaps why I have been grouchy...ouch...and oh let's go fix that.

Michelle DeRusha said...

Wow, this is awesome stuff, Gaby -- glad you decided to link this one up this time around. I agree with you entirely -- I can tell when my soul is starved for God-contact because of how I react to my loved ones and my external stimuli (i.e. crabby and short-tempered!).

Anonymous said...

Great thoughts about what fills up the soul compared to your time on a diet. Enjoyed it. I get crabby when I am hungry in both areas!