Oh yes, it can be done. If you know me well, or if you’re facebook friends with me, you may have noticed that I really like cereal. I particularly like it as a bedtime snack; the craving usually hits anywhere from 10pm to 1am, and since I’m a night owl, that’s right about the time I’m either getting home from work or getting ready for bed.
Now, cereal (at least a somewhat healthy kind…I personally like Raisin Bran Crunch and Frosted Mini Wheats) can make for an excellent snack. It’s pretty good for you. The problem comes when I eat it for dinner, too. Unfortunately, that’s an all-too-frequent scenario. I mean, let’s be honest. It’s hard to cook a full fresh and healthy meal for just one person. Cereal’s such a nice and easy quick fix! I know some of you are laughing at me right now, while others of you are going … yeah, I know what you mean, Becca!
So where does the spiritual parallel come into play? Well, it’s like this… I tend to do similar things to my relationship with God that I do to my body. Physically, when I eat cereal for the third night in a row for dinner (and not much better than that for breakfast or lunch), that means I’m not giving myself the nutrition that I need to have a healthy body. (Clearly.) And I feel it. I’m tired, unmotivated, even irritable (because I know I’m not treating my body well). If/when I eat like that much longer than a few days, I get sick…aching head, aching joints, breaking out, unsettled stomach. Generally unpleasant.
Same thing happens to me spiritually. I gloss over spending time with God because I’m in a rush to start my day or get to bed or move on to my to-do list. I think I’ll just get my mind set for the day by listening to Christian music in the car on my way to my first appointment for the day, or by sending up some “continuing conversation” prayers throughout the day. I might skim through a Psalm, hoping it will give me some credible insight for whatever the day may bring.
All of these things are great “snacks,” if you will, but they simply don’t maintain a healthy spiritual life. After a day or two of that kind of spiritual diet, I’m tired, unmotivated, and irritable! If/when I “eat” like that much longer than a few days, my soul gets pretty sick… depressed, self-righteous, guilty, fearful, full of unbelief. Generally unpleasant!
So, what’s a girl to do? A) Eat meals with other people so that I make sure I eat a variety of healthy food that will nourish and sustain my body. B) Spend time with God that has a variety of touchpoints between His Spirit and my heart and mind so that I nourish and sustain my soul.
A few great examples here for me personally are:
- journaling my thoughts and prayers to help me focus my mind,
- writing out my top 10 list of things burdening me today and my top 10 list of things I’m thankful for today,
- using the 5 Fingers to grip my Bible – hear (pinky), read (ring finger), study (middle finger), memorize (pointer), meditate (thumb),
- quieting my heart by sitting and listening to music that speaks the gospel to me (and not doing anything else other than listening!),
- asking God to show me if there are areas of sin or lies that I’m believing that are hindering sweet fellowship with Him (then confessing and repenting and thanking God for His forgiveness that I already have through Christ when He shows those things to me!),
- asking God to speak to me through whatever I’m reading in His Word…then stopping and responding to Him when He does,
- reading the poetry, prayers, and insights of the saints who have gone before me.
Whole person health, here I come!