Since we are in the Christmas Season ... a joy-filled season which sometimes stresses us out, I decided to share an excerpt from my book, Go Forward, about Joy-Filled and Peace-Filled Meals.
Go, eat your bread with joy, And drink your wine with a merry heart;
For God has already accepted your works. Ecclesiastes 9:7 (NKJV)
Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a fatted calf with hatred. Proverbs 15:17 (NKJV)
Let’s go back to your high school biology class. (I know: moan, groan.) Remember the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems? Only one of these systems can be dominant at a time. When you are agitated, excited, upset, in crisis, angry, or stressed the sympathetic nervous system is kicking into gear. This means that the parasympathetic system is not able to function well. You may recall that the parasympathetic system controls your digestive system.
Uh, oh. We have a situation. The exciting movie you are watching with dinner (re-read Day 18: It’s Time to Set the Table), the argument you just had with your teenager, the mulling over what your coworker did, the worrying about whether someone accepts you, or the report that is due at work tomorrow each keep you from digesting your food well.
God knows what He is talking about when He instructs us to:
- Cast our cares on Him (1 Peter 5:7)
- Not worry (Matthew 6:25-34)
- Forgive and walk in love (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 and Ephesians 4:32)
- Think on things that are excellent and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:6-8)
- Receive the acceptance Jesus bought for us (Ecclesiastes 9:7; Ephesians 1:6 and 2:8; and Philippians 1:6).
Living in peace and joy is important anytime, but especially at mealtime! God wants you to be healthy. He knows that for you to digest your food well, which allows you to absorb the nutrients to “renew your youth,” you need to be joyful and peaceful when you eat.