A lot of folks today seem vexed by the idea that people just can’t seem to agree on anything. “Why can’t we all just get along?” is the rallying cry of the liberal side of life that believes that in order to co-exist in this life we have to homogenize, neutralize, and super-size our toleration of every possible theory, algorithm and ideology. Whether it’s politics, religion, healthcare, or child-rearing, increasingly, differing points of view on almost any subject, with a side order of wokeabulary thrown in, can generate passionate, even violent responses from both the left and right sides of the socio/political aisle.
But, in spite of all our vast differences, believe it or not, I am going to say something now that no living being will be able to argue with. Really.
Alright, it’s pretty basic and not too profound, but it is no less true. Here it is: every living being, whether plant, animal, or homo sapien, has to eat in order to maintain life. Yep, that’s it. I know, you are overwhelmed with revelatory insight right about now. But just think at how basic I had to get to find something EVERY living thing can agree on! That should give you an idea of the complexity of our world at this point in time. A world where any opinion or spin, no matter how wacky or wicked, can have a written or oral audience 24/7, whether on the airwaves or internet. Wacky and wicked, it is.
So, let’s keep it basic. We all agree that every living being is designed – oops, we now disagree already perhaps – so let’s say that each living thing eats according to it’s physiology and each living thing needs certain nutrients. People eat people food, horses eat what they require, and plants take nutrients from the earth. Because we need to eat so frequently, we spend a lot of time acquiring, preparing, and digesting our nutrients. If we eat more than we require, we also have to spend any remaining time trying to work off the evidence that we can’t seem to stop taking in food.
Now, in a simpler time, people lived on farms and raised their own protein and carbs, taking in and then burning off what they just ate, for survival’s sake. In fact, our great-greats probably spent most of their waking hours pondering their next meal and doing what it took to get it. How primitive and unproductive, you might be thinking.
But life moves forward: suppose humans reach a point in their ‘evolution’ on earth where they still need to eat, but can no longer be hunter/gatherers due to social change. Over time, with the industrializing of all aspects of life, let’s say we got ourselves a bona-fide, city-fied, electri-fied, consumer-driven world in which our every waking moment is governed by governors, industry and self-proclaimed experts on life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear? Survival mode is hard-wired into us.
Fear not, the only thing that might change, really, is how to acquire nutrients – from whom, and from where. The family farm for the most part has given way to the ‘mega-farm’, which will likely be enslaved to multi-national corporations to process and distribute mass quantities of well-preserved foods to a bona-fide, citi-fied, electri-fied world that cannot feed itself. That might work, but doesn’t it sound a bit – unnatural? What is natural anyway? Behold the humble cow, one of man’s two best friends in the world. Cows are designed (there’s that word again) to eat grass, not grains and assorted protein by-products; they should live 15 years (not 5), give beef and butter and real milk, and – I suspect – should not be injected with a vast array of chemicals designed to destroy both the animal and the human who benefits from it’s many talents.
Crops should be grown with sun and rain and dirt as they are designed to, as opposed to season-extending and life-shortening chemicals; and people should be students on the types and quantities of nutrients needed, and the consequences of living outside those paramenters so they can make informed decisions in spite of a radically changing world. But the world system, being what it is (fallen) and owned by who it is (Satan) has persuaded us to tamper with the natural order of life to serve egos and unbridled greed. Processing, poisonous additives, unholy profits and a veneer of ‘prosperity’ have tempted the now global ‘food industry’ to make the natural, God-given and enjoyable pleasure of eating an often dangerous mine-field of scientific experimentation.
So here is a snapshot of the world as it has embraced progress: malnourished, sedentary, overweight, diabetic and stressed. Artery-clogged and stroke-ready, depressed, violent, self-absorbed, uninsured and insomniac. But there are always pharmaceuticals to ease our pain and side effects are rare, so see your doctor if you experience any of the above. But all is well, global citizen, as there is enough processed food on the shelves in the Great American Supermarket to feed us all. (For now.) We have tamed the hunger beast, for there is nothing we cannot do, we lack for nothing, and are lord of all we survey. Huzzah! And – we did agree on something.
I know enough about the world’s system to know that everything about it is corrupt, it’s fading away, and I shall not put any hope whatsoever in it’s false premises and promises. I know enough that if I weren’t a believer, I would be frustrated beyond words at how things are run in this life and how little justice is served. I think it’s very possible that I would be the poster child for clinical depression if I didn’t have the solid foundation of Jesus to build upon each day. So, by God’s grace and to keep my sanity, as I still have to eat/drink/breathe in this world, I still spend a goodly amount of time acquiring and preparing family nourishment but I also add to that the pursuit of truth with any time I have left.
But what about spiritual food? All truth is God’s truth, right? Absolutely not, and the amount of spiritual junk food out there is taking a toll on the body – of Christ. In the same way we have unlimited access to junk food for the body, we have unlimited access to the pure milk and meat of the Word, free of processing. But it does contain preservatives – for our lives into all eternity.
Part 2: The Proper Care and Feeding of the Spirit