By no means am I an expert when it comes to food. But, I do like to cook, and I’m told my presentation
and table setting are pretty good. But when it comes to calories, nutrition and a balanced diet I lack in
many ways. And my body reflects this deficiency.
Recently I learned that standing 1 additional hour every day has the same health advantages as running 3 marathons a year. I questioned this, but sure enough it’s true. Google it! You don’t have to stand an
hour all at once; 10 minutes here 5 minutes there burns calories and creates an agile body. When you sit
and watch TV, consider standing up during the commercials. It’s a start!
Recently I attended a weeklong conference for pastors. It focused on four major areas for wholeness and
health: vocation, financial, physical and psychological, and spiritual. At first, I was overwhelmed with the information and the need for self-awareness, evaluation, and honesty. But, it changed me. I don’t mean I came home 50 pounds lighter. It gave me tools for how to take care of myself one step at a time.
During the conference we had some of the best food I have ever eaten. The dining hall included a
professional chef. The food was tasty, appealing, and well portioned. Truth be told, as I reflect over the
past 20 years I have most often eaten my meals in a hurry giving little thought, if any, to my health.
Typically, I purchased my meals at a drive thru window. Stop laughing! 😊 I allowed my job to
determine my diet and health habits, including my schedule, self-care, purposeful time with family, friends, and congregants, etc. I epitomized the typical rushed American.
At one of our meals we entered the room slowly with no talking and quiet music. The facilitator guided us through a “meditation” to look at the food on our plates, notice the fragrance and variety of food, breathe and give thanks for the nutrition and calories provided for our well-being, energy, and life. After 2 minutes I just wanted to dig in. I was “starved” and breathing deeply wasn’t helping. After being challenged to eat as a spiritual practice, I was hooked. I realized my approach to food was out of control. I also realized having a chef prepare food is a lot easier than me shopping and preparing it when I get home.
Of all the needs in the world hungry children break my heart. The average American household spent
$4,015 on food in 2018. Yet, we throw out $640 of food each year. That’s 16% of food we buy – that’s
not a number to be proud of. Americans, collectively, waste $160 billion, which is 30 to 40 percent of the
entire US food supply. Like many things, we approach food as an entitlement rather than a blessing from
God. Our patience level, even at a “fast food” window, is notably low. If we were more intentional with
food, think of how healthy our vocation, financial, physical and psychological, and spiritual lives would be. I’m not where I want to be with food, but I’m working on it and hope to become healthier, run 3 marathons, and help hungry people in the world. Perhaps you will join me and stand up.
“Do not work for the food that
perishes, but for the food that endures
for eternal life…” -Jesus (John 6.27a)
From the Corner
is written by the
Rev. Keith M. Haithcock,
Pastor & Teacher of
St. John United Church of Christ
0n the corner of
Fairfield and Ward Aves.,