“Jesus said to them, ‘I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.’ ‘Sir,’ they said, ‘from now on give us this bread.’ Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.’” John 6:32-35 (NIV)
My 3-year-old grandson, Nate, has been the cause of some major hair-pulling moments lately. Last night was another one.
As has become almost the norm, he and his mom have had the battle of the wills when it comes to eating his supper. He wants to play, not sit. He wants to take a bite, run off and come back when he’s ready for another. And he wants to eat only what he wants to eat. He doesn’t see the need to eat all that his mom gives him and he certainly doesn’t see the need to eat something he’s not sure he likes. Guess what usually gets left behind? His vegetables!
Guess what his grandma has the biggest problem eating as well?
Like Nate, I am not – nor will I ever be – a vegetable person. There are very few I can honestly say I like. Give me fruit instead! I resist eating my vegetables much like I resist doing some of the things on God’s agenda that he has placed on my “plate.”
I don’t want to go to work today. Lord, would you change that broccoli to peaches? Instead of work, could I please lie on my hammock and rest?
I don’t want to pay those bills today. Lord, would you please turn those peas into applesauce? Instead of paying bills, could I please receive bills of another kind? Say maybe 5’s, 10’s or 20’s?
I don’t want to do the laundry or wash those dishes — again! Lord would you please, pretty please, turn those carrots into grapes?
You get the point. A healthy life isn’t just a matter of eating the right balance of vitamins and nutrients. It’s also a matter of doing the right balance of activities as well. If all I want to eat and do is fruit – to feast on and enjoy the fun things, the relaxing things, the palatable things – my growth is going to be stunted in some way. I am going to become an extremely unbalanced, self-centered and unhealthy person. I sometimes have to do the responsible thing over the fun thing. I sometimes have to set aside my sweet-tasting agenda to do what I may not want to do, but what God is asking me to do.
A balanced life is balanced living. Each day we must:
Eat our bread – it represents Christ’s sacrifice for us, strengthening us spiritually.
Eat our meat – it represents God’s Word, strengthening us mentally.
Eat our fruit – it strengthens us emotionally. It’s important to incorporate a bit of laughter, fun and relaxation into each day.
And eat our vegetables without complaining. They strengthen us physically. Do what you know you need to do. Each day, do what God asks you to do even though it may not be particularly pleasant at the moment.
What about that all important dessert, you ask? Well, dessert is that wonderful feeling you get at the end of the day when you can reflect back and know without a doubt that you have spent your time wisely. You have eaten healthy, exercised appropriately and lived obediently. Aim for the dessert!