Remember to Chew

Consume Mindfully

Colossians 3:16 “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing songs and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

Eating lunch on my deck can be so peaceful. I look forward to it. Looking out past my railing, I start shoving salad into my mouth. I’ve got a long list of things to do today so my lunch can’t take up too much time. The faster I eat, the less I chew. Most whole pieces of spinach and cucumber find their way into my stomach. I barely taste the rich salad dressing I conscientiously put together myself. I pause. I keep forgetting, so I remind myself again, “Chew your food!” Eating all kinds of healthy food sounds great, but if your stomach cannot break it down all of those nutrients won’t make it into your system to power your cells and strengthen your body. *Inhale* Okay, chew.

Reading my Bible on my deck can be so peaceful. I look forward to it. Gazing past my railing, I start to hurriedly read today’s four chapters. I’ve got a long list of things to do today and this is one of them. The faster I read, the less I realize what I’m reading. Whole chunks of Psalms and Matthew pass before my eyes. I barely taste the priceless words before moving on to the next. Then I pause. God the Spirit reminds me: “You’re reading all of these nutrient dense words, but if you don’t take the time to digest it, all of the words of life will go in one ear and out the other. You need to be fed by Me through the Scriptures to be strengthened.”

Consume Communally

I looked out across the yard from my vantage point. A commotion drew my attention toward a group of people in front of a house across the street. The pandemic meant lots of families spent time outside if they wanted to be together without wearing a mask. I took another bite of salad and consciously chewed slowly. Siblings and friends were entering and exiting with various loads in their hands, all contributing to getting a meal together. The father stood at the grill, proudly curating the meat to present to his growing family. What appeared to be the mother started serving spoon-fuls of something lovingly prepared onto everyone’s plates. I looked down at the solitary bowl in my lap. I had bought the vegetables. I had cut them up. I had done all the prep. And now I was eating it. Normally I do this without a thought but observing this family from a distance made me pause. I wondered what they were talking about. Maybe they were talking about insignificant things like the latest meme they saw in their feed or maybe they were sharing their woes. The table puts everyone on the same level. Everyone has to eat. Everyone is a part of the group. A unit. Between mouth-fulls, stories were being shared and bonds forged. Normally, I’d be in too much of a hurry to taste my food, let alone to think about the fact that I was eating alone. 

I reopen my eyes and notice for the first time a group of people in a circle of lawn chairs. I began to resume my mindful reading but my attention was drawn back to the chattering movement. Young children scurried about, elderly couples helped each other get into position as young adults placed their lawn chairs for them. Did they have Bible’s in their hands? I looked down at the Bible in my lap. I read by myself. Journaled by myself. Kept my thoughts to myself (if I could even remember what I had read, that is). Normally I do this without a thought, but observing this church family from a distance made me pause. I wondered what they were talking about. Maybe they were discussing divisive things without getting to the heart or maybe they were sharing their woes. The gospel puts everyone on the same level. Everyone needs Jesus. Everyone can be a part of God’s group. A unit. Stories were being shared and bonds forged. Normally I’d be in too much of a hurry to check Bible reading off my list to ponder the words, let alone to realize the fact that I was trying to grow alone.

Eat Slowly and Share

Feeling too preoccupied to raise another fork-full to my mouth, I leaned back in my chair. What should I do, Lord? I prayed. The door to my patio cracked open and my roommate smiled out at me. “Can I join you?”She asked. Seeing the Bible in my lap, she asked, having no idea what I had just been thinking about, “What have you been learning?” It really doesn’t have to be complicated, does it? Don’t over think it, Breanne. Eat slowly and share. In that moment, when I could have been discouraged that I was reading Scripture all alone, the Lord encouraged me. Bringing my mind back to the question at hand, I looked at my friend, smiled, and began to share.

Breanne is a native of New Brunswick, Canada who recently moved to brave life in Ontario. She loves everything outdoors including cycling, hiking, and kayaking. Breanne is passionate about teaching (especially children who need a little extra love and attention) and learning. You can follow Breanne’s poetry account on instagram @scen.ic.route and you can find her blog here!