Lately, I have been forced to think a great deal about the food I eat because of an infection I suffered. Currently I am on the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce and toast). I look forward to the days when I can eat normally again.
Even when we are feeling healthy, we spend a great deal of our time thinking about food. “What’s for dinner?” “What should I get at the grocery store?” “What would I like to order at my favorite restaurant?”
The disciples in John 4 were concerned that Jesus had been so busy ministering to others that he had not eaten. “Rabbi, eat,” they said (John 4:31). But then Jesus said, “I have food to eat that you don’t know about” (John 4:32). The food he was talking about was “to do the will of him we sent me and to accomplish his work.” That desire to do the will of God and complete the tasks his Father had given him was what keep Jesus nourished and energized and motivated to keep going.
We need to be daily reminded that while the meals we eat are important and we must eat healthy in order to stay alive physically, there is much more important “food” we need to be filled with in order to stay alive spiritually. And that is seeking to follow through with God’s desires for us to pray, read Scripture, worship him and serve him with the gifts and abilities he has graced us with. No fruits and vegetables, antioxidants or vitamins can provide what accomplishing the will of God can do for us: bringing us closer to him.
As a famous worship collect tells us, “read, mark, learn and inwardly digest” what is God’s will for you every day. (Collect for the Second Sunday in Advent, English Book of Prayer, 1549).