Consume Less. Savor More

I’m trying to learn a new habit.   My primary motivation is for my physical health, but this habit has broader application.   It’s a simple habit, summarized in four words:

Consume less.   Savor more.

I’m trying to build this into my dietary habits.   For years, I’ve been in the habit of hoovering down food as though I were in a race to finish first.  I don’t know how I developed this habit, for my parents certainly didn’t foster it.   Indeed, they kept telling me to slow down, chew my food, enjoy it.   Even so, I developed a habit of eating fast and moving on to the next thing.

So I’m slowing down.  Savoring more.   Each bite, I try to give full attention to the flavor, the texture, the full experience of the food on my fork.   After swallowing, I try to pay attention to the lingering flavor on my palate.   Then I really challenge myself, trying to fully enjoy the full experience of this food in this place with these people.   I begin to understand more fully that food is more than fuel.   Food is a flavorful component of an experience.

This isn’t some kind of prissy exercise in snobbery, however.  Let’s look at this theologically.  If God is in control of the universe (what theologians call sovereignty), and if God orchestrates things according to His wisdom and goodness (we call that providence), then does it not follow that in this very moment are a multiplicity of details that God has orchestrated?   In fact there is more going on in any single moment than a finite human mind is able to grasp.  Each moment crackles with God’s glory.

And thus each moment overflows with opportunity to see God’s glory – if we but had eyes to see and ears to hear.   If we could but taste and see that God is good.   If we but savored the moment.

What would it be like to seek to savor the abundance of life.   What if we disciplined our minds to more fully savor the experiences we have before us, rather than craving that which we do not have?  What if we fully savored the company of the person standing in front of us, rather than wishing we could break away to someone more interesting?   What would it be like to fully savor the things that we have, rather than aching to possess more?

So, I’m clumsily learning to consume less, savor more.  Care to join me?

Soli Deo Gloria


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