O Taste and See
Oh, the joys of those who trust in him! Psalm 34:8 NLT
A friend sent me this picture who knows I like watermelon. In fact, I love watermelon and wait each year for the real season to begin so I can enjoy the fully ripe and most juicy fruit. I can almost taste the watermelon when I look at this picture. But, the actual taste far exceeds viewing the picture. I am most happiest when I can both see and taste watermelon. It is a blessing to do both.
I know what I have been missing from the meals I prepared so far on the Daniel Fast. My meals have been nutritious, they have been on the recommended list, and they have even looked good. But, the taste! Well, they did not taste bad, but they were not flavorful and did not delight me when I ate. I made big pots of lentils and rice as well as split pea soup (which I am still eating, by the way). So, I had to eat them. But the enjoyment was just not there. I remember Francis talking about how delicious her meals were; almost to the point where she was happy when her husband did not want the leftovers—”more for me!” 🙂
I just dumped some lentils into the pot with broth and cooked them, made the rice, and maybe added the little bit of salsa I had left in the refrigerator for a little flavor. Then I made split pea soup. I followed the recipe, which made a good soup, but because I don’t add salt to my cooking and did not adjust the seasonings to suit my taste, it lacked just a little something. But, it’s good; just not great and did not bring joy to mealtime. We should expect our meals to appeal to all of our senses. After all, simply because I am fasting does not mean that my food should not delight my senses—”O taste and see how good God is!”
I wonder how many times we allow ourselves to only experience part of what God has for us. There may be a number of reasons for stopping short of receiving the full experience that leads to joy in life. We may want to just get it done. I just needed a a healthy, nutritious meal and I was not fully making the effort to make it taste better. Or we may think that “good” is all we need. My food was good, but I did not delight in it. My thought was, “Oh Boy, I need to finish that split pea soup.” Not exactly a happy meal experience! God wants us to have joy in all that I do. I decided to do better.
I made this amazing dish that was flavorful, beautiful and delighted all of my senses. I started with a recipe for red beans and rice which used garlic, onion, green pepper, cumin, paprika, and bay leaves. Yes, that is spicy and mouth watering enough, but I also added additional spices and rather than tomato paste I used spaghetti sauce which had its own flavor (also some salt). I could not stop eating. I should have taken a picture before I started, because as you can see there is not much left. I thought, “My gosh, why didn’t I add more flavor to my food before so I could have enjoyed each day of the Daniel Fast? This Psalm confirms that using our senses to experience joy is part of God’s plan for us. Certainly, the Lenten Season is focused on sacrifice, but it’s also about trusting God. Trusting that God will supply all of our needs. Trusting that God will forgive our sins. Trusting that God wants us to have joy—unspeakable joy. What are we waiting for? The season is now. We don’t have to wait for conditions to be ripe (or right) to experience joyful eating, joyful living. Start now. Season that food. Spice up your life. Taste and see everything. Enjoy! 🙂