I recently watched a new series on Netflix called, Cooked, by the food writer Michael Pollen. In the series he celebrates the primitive nature of cooking. Through exhilarating cinematography and incredible storytelling we are deeply moved by the intrinsic nature of eating and its relation to the preparation of food. As I watched, salivating from the sights of slow-smoked swine and homemade bread, I fell deeply in the snares of the writer’s creative intent to confront my issues with cooking on a regular basis. Could it be true that I am willing to deprive myself of the nourishment I need in order to save time and resources? Have I succumbed to the quick and easy way of living, negating my deep need for excellent nutrition. As I began to ponder this question, I started to see that this “seamless” way of living was not just evident in my eating habits, but in the way I viewed my life and relationship with God.
Carve out the time
Like cooking, one of the greatest threats to our relationship with God is a lack of time. Henri Nouwen, in his article “Moving From Solitude to Community to Ministry” says:
“In the spiritual life, the word discipline means ‘the effort to create some space in which God can act.’ Discipline means to prevent everything in your life from being filled up. Discipline means that somewhere you’re not occupied, and certainly not preoccupied. In the spiritual life, discipline means to create that space in which something can happen that you hadn’t planned or counted on.”
While it is so easy to swipe through a blog like this once a day, or be filled from your two church activities a week, we need time with God alone, in silence and prayer to remind ourselves of the incredible riches of being called sons and daughters of the most high king, of being called the beloved. We need time, to push against the cultural norms and remind ourselves where true power, our identity, affirmation, love, acceptance, and all the things we search for in the world come from.
How can you carve out more time for God this week?
I want to be completed. I want to be like the microwaveable Hungry-Man steak and potatoes dinner that you only have to put in the microwave for a couple of minutes to enjoy. Hands down, I am one of the most introspective people I have ever met. I can sit for hours in my room playing connect the dots with my emotions, life experiences, and behaviors, without realizing that, truly I am trying to complete myself. I am attempting to fill voids in my life with reason outside of the nourishing benefits of the Gospel, which does not lead to completion but despair.
The truth I read in Philippians 1:6 is so refreshing, “and I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
The creator of the universe, who began this good work in me, is willing to spend galactic years completing and making me whole, indicating that my value and worth is so much greater than I can comprehend in one sitting.
In times when we find we’re not who we want to be or where we want to be, we must remind ourselves of the magnitude of our value to God. Though we were sinners, we were worth the death of his only sinless son, in which we received justification and forgiveness for where we fall short.
What areas of your life are you anxious to see completion in?
If you’re wondering, I still haven’t fully implemented cooking everyday in my life. As refreshing as it is when I do it, it’s not perfect. Sometimes my meal is not good, or not fulfilling, or I get behind a couple of days. Other times I’m so thankful I carved out the time to slow down and give my body what it needs, and I am met with the sweet benefits that come with the discipline.
Our relationship with God will forever be more fulfilling than any meal we could ever make. But we must continually taste and see His goodness. We must commit to the slow day-to-day walk of discovering his love for us and experience the nourishment that comes with the everlasting commitment he made with us.