Saturday, May 17, 2014

THE SEARCH FOR A HEALTHY DIET


This is a photo of my grandson, instead of my daughter.



By Ada Brownell

I inserted the tiny spoon filled with cereal into the baby's mouth. Her tongue squished the soft oatmeal around. She puckered and swallowed. Big brown eyes lit with interest. Then she shuddered and her face pulled into a series of disgusted, unhappy expressions.
Similar experiences occurred with our other four children the first time they tried solid food. I think it's interesting how we react to different types of food, beginning with infancy.
Most babies gag and spit out the first solid food, but soon tiny fingers pick up Cheerios and insert them into their mouths.
It's interesting to understand that our food choices, even as child, are influenced by our culture. If we were born into a poor Oriental family, we soon would like rice, whereas American children often don't eat rice until they are much older. If we lived in an African slum, we’d be grateful for slimy oatmeal gruel in a dirty bowl.
In some parts of the world, you’d think putting live bugs between two slices of bread was a special treat, even though bugs crawled around on your fingers as you ate them. In other countries you’d eat dog and monkey. In times past it was quite common for Americans to eat cow and pig brains and kidneys. They made “head cheese,” which was a jellied meat product made from the head of a calf or pig. You can still buy pickled pig’s feet. Using everything possible became popular in a economically poor society that didn’t waste anything. In hard times, people also ate squirrels and turtles.
A man who escaped from the enemy during World War II told me he ate a rat in order to survive.
Such things make me nauseous. But lately I've thought more about my spiritual food. Should I only read the Word that encourages me—sort of dessert sweet to the taste? Is it O.K. to look over the Lord's table and pick and choose the parts of the Bible I like and refuse the sections that give spiritual growth and health?
Untasty words abound among the spiritual bread we're provided. For instance, in Revelation 21,  the sweet morsels are mixed with the bitter: "To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the water of life… but the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolators and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death" (Revelation 21:7-8).
I go through times where I partake of the Word, studying subjects or books of the Bible learning and growing, but then comes a time when I only read a scripture or two or a devotion.
The Apostle Paul told the Corinthian church, "I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready" (1 Corinthians 3:2). Another version talks about spiritual "meat" instead of milk. Interesting that three ounces of lean beef has 23 grams of  protein, 243 calories (food energy, and numerous other important vitamins and minerals). Eight ounces of whole milk has 9 grams of protein 160 calories.
A child who drinks only milk will be anemic.
So I need to get into the Word and eat heartily, and pray for spiritual health.
The Psalmist said, "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you" (Psalm 119:11).
In the natural, food storage is wise. My parents, who went through the Great Depression, always had about enough canned goods to last two years. I know I also should stock God's Word away in my mind for future use.
©Copyright Ada Brownell 2014