When I eat, I flip on the TV or open my phone. I fly into my head, away from my belly. The screens take me away from what I am putting in my mouth. Not being mindful of my eating has packed on the pounds because I don’t settle down to taste my food until the second helping. I am missing out on one of the best pleasures my body and the ground, the sun, the air can offer.
As I edge towards my death, I wonder why I am denying myself. Someday this body, these taste buds, this stomach will be buried. And even though I believe in the resurrection of the body, she won’t be the same as this one. I won’t be able to eat my favorite salad — grapes, lettuce, Bolthouse honey mustard dressing, spinach, olives, almonds, feta, tomatoes. I won’t feel how refreshing it is to put down my empty bowl and do the next thing.
Christians have made eating a sacrament, central to their worship, so why not slow down, give thanks for the people, the ground, the sunlight, the rain, that has made this food? Why not put the phone away, take a bite, set the fork down, and taste what’s inside my mouth? Why not listen to what scientists say about how it takes twenty minutes to feel satisfied with our meal? I am so fragmented, I’m going to practice settling down to enjoy this great good pleasure. As the Psalmist says, “Oh taste and see that the Lord is good.”