This morning as I jumped in the shower to get ready for my workday I was overwhelmed once again with the faithfulness of the Lord to meet us each and every time we show up ready to hear His voice. Why I’m surprised I’m not sure. After all, He tells us in Hebrews 11:6 that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. And so today when I stood present to hear His voice (amidst shampoo and soap lather) He reminded me of Key #4 – “Eat when my body and mind are relaxed.” I admit I do struggle with this one. I struggle primarily because more often than not it’s hard for me to relax. If my body’s not moving my mind certainly is.
The older I get the more I realize that God is never hurried nor unrelaxed. And if I want to be conformed more into His likeness I need not be either. However, that’s easier said than done.
The Oxford Dictionary defines the word relax as follows, “reduce or abate (one’s attention or efforts, etc.); cease work or effort. It dawned on me that so many times when I sit down to eat it is for everything but enjoying God’s faithful provision. I’m either squeezing the meal in between the endless demands on my day; I’m preparing food for others; grabbing a snack on the go; and/or, mindlessly pulling something together when I get home from work, snacking as I go (because I didn’t planned better). The bottom line is, I am always going if not physically, then mentally for sure. Making time to “eat when my body and mind are relaxed” is a constant challenge, especially when you have family and work full-time. Nevertheless, it’s a tool we’ve been offered here at Thin Within and there are countless testimonies to those finding success. So we know it can be done.
I recently read the following quote, “Margin gives time for us to breathe in and out – stilling ourselves in the presence of God and allowing all the things which have hustled our attention be cast aside in favor of a purposeful look at our God. Sabbath dulls down the noisiness of our ever-pulsating activities, invites us to refocus our attention on His character, and all He has done for us. It helps us be thankful. It gives us space … to worship. It keeps us from squeezing the Giver out of the gift.” (Priscilla Shirer) Wow! What if we could make our eating times as sweet as this … even if for only 15 minutes.
Last night was the first time in a long time that I experienced this for myself with regard to my eating. I attended our monthly women’s meeting at church where a lavish pot-luck dinner was ours to enjoy. My only problem was of course, I wasn’t hungry or even close. For some reason my 6” Subway tuna fish sandwich eaten at noon had kept me satisfied until long after our 6:00 p.m. gathering. I briefly scanned the table casting my eyes only on a decadent looking chocolate dessert that appeared to have my name written on it. Thinking to myself, “I’ll just take a bite to see if it’s as good as it looks”, I quickly stepped out of the room and said, “Lord, you and I both know I won’t stop with one bite. Please help me to relax and enjoy the fellowship of the other ladies.” And that’s just what we (the Lord and I did). I grabbed a delicious peach flavored iced tea, placed my sweet little self at the opposite end of the food area and got to know some ladies a little better. Hallelujah! A sweet moment of victory!
What about you? Is it hard for you to eat when your mind and body are relaxed? Can you picture giving God honor by eating within these margins? Look for 15 minutes to sit and enjoy God’s gift of food today. I’ll bet you’re rewarded with more than just the experience. I’ll bet you find Him waiting for you when you arrive.