Food for thought

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Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!
Psalm 34:8 NLT

Growing older increases your chances of your metabolism slowing down. (I’m pretty sure mine stopped years ago!) But I’m like most girls, conscious of their selves: particularly the body shape. There was a postcard meme trending for a while saying “Everybody thinks a girls dream is to find a perfect guy. But it’s actually to eat without getting fat!” I’d say it’s true, I can’t speak on behalf of every girl out there. But it’s true for me! Could it be true for guys too? Perhaps..

Why am I blogging about food?
I’m just your average Chinese girl, and I love me some food. I think about food a lot. What I’m going to eat next, what’s in the fridge to snack on, housemates come home and the first thing I check is if they’re hungry. Or I’ll make a comment that I’m hungry (which is probably 80% of the time). You check instagram and Facebook and all you see are foodporn pictures from your foodie friends. A constant craver.
(On the side note, recently I also realised that when us Chinese people go to a “buffet” we think it’s an all-you-can-eat buffet. But when at a restaurant/venue that says they offer this, they actually mean “self-service buffet”: as you go and get your own food, rather than have the restaurant/venue plate it up and serve it to you. I now know we need to establish if it’s an all-you-can-eat buffet or a self-service buffet…! Now you know too! There’s a difference.)
Anyway, have we become a generation obsessed about food?

During i9:2 last month, we held a “Poverty Simulator” on one of the mornings. It was very well thought out, and inspired by what is done on the OM Logos Hope Ship. It was an activity which had people set in family groups, to try and make ends meet by making paper bags from recycled newspaper and a flour-water-combo glue. The families had to try and send as many of their children to school for education as possible to break the cycle of poverty. But meanwhile paying rent in the slums, paying for usage of the toilet, paying for food and water, while their homes might be flooded or destroyed. And while we’re at it, trying to avoid any run ins with the landlord, gangs and working-ladies trying to get their daughters to sell their bodies. This simulator was just that, a simulator. An attempt at trying to replicate what is going on in the real world. But it was definitely eye-opening for me, personally. If these families didn’t even have enough money made from making and selling their bags, they would not afford food and water: they would die. And that’s just one portion of their dying (and losing the game). And although it’s just a game for us, a simulation. It’s the real world for people out there who can’t afford to live….

And I was thinking about how we as a generation in the west, obsessed about food, are we just plain gluttons? I admit, maybe I am. Am I putting so much food on my plate, because my eyes are wider than my stomach? Throwing away food from my plate because I couldn’t finish it (again because I put too much food on my plate?) Some all-you-can-eat buffet places charge you for every plate of food you waste: which is a pretty good way at keeping you on guard and not to waste food.

That said, I declared on Facebook, on Tuesday that I’m dieting. And I think the world saw. Because everyone I’ve seen so far (ok, not everyone, but the people I’m in touch with), have rebuked me and said “Why are you planning on eating that food? Aren’t you on a diet?” or just catch me out “I thought you’re on a diet?” So far, I can’t forget that I’m on a diet. People remind me. Everyone.
I had to watch my supervisor and a friend eating ice-cream last night, ice-cream which I bought with my own money, and brought over to theirs a few weeks ago. A flavour I picked out because I quite fancied it. How hard is that. I love icecream.
I digress.

What I really wanted to say is, while thinking about our daily bread (the physical one here), I’m reminded of how the Israelites relied on God to provide manna and quail in the dessert. They were so full of complaints despite all that God was providing. And here am I, so full of complaints while God is providing for my every physical hunger requirements. Or how the Israelites collected extra manna: more than what was required because they didn’t trust God would provide–only to have the manna turn bad the next day (because God said He will provide daily!) Here I am, piling more food on my plate thinking, this is my last meal before God takes away my money and I can’t afford to eat anymore… only to feel sick afterwards.

And yes, our body is a temple. And yet we fill it with so much rubbish. Garbage in, garbage out. And so I declared on social media (and now somewhat on this blog!) that I need to get my body on track. Gone of the days of constant snacking; giving in to processed meat (did someone say hotdogs?!); abusing my body because at the end of the day, your body is a tool to glorify God with: through actions, thoughts and words, and even with what you fill your mind and body with (music, books, even food). And so the real reason why I realised I need to master this self-control of my appetite, was because this is a spiritual act of worship. I don’t want to be obsessed with food. I want to be obsessed with God.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God–this is your true and proper worship.
Romans 12:1 NIV

Conveniently, this article popped up on Desiring God, which also challenged me and thus brought me to want to blog. Worth reading if you fancy seconds.

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