Thursday, May 17, 2007


Reading labels, as advised, I see that most packaged foods begin a list with the word "NUTRITION", which is at the very least a misnomer; thereunder the "nutritious" elements appear to consist of those three favorite food groups salt, fat and sugar. I am amazed, as I look for foods to include in a diet, how many packaged and allegedly edible foods consist primarily of these same ingredients. But speaking of diet, I awoke this AM to an overwhelming sense of the stultifying existential ennui of those repetitive, everyday tasks--activities of daily living--in other words, I feel "fed up" with my life to date. The matters of washing and cleaning and buttoning buttons, tying laces, preparing meals and putting everything in the places where they presumably belong seemed Alpine and, on this day, repugnant.

An obvious alternative is not to do them at all, though even I could see the consequences would be disasterous in a very short while. The next thought was to hire someone else to do them, and the thought was exhilirating for the moment--a rapidly vanishing moment at that, as I reviewed the actual procedures. I could see myself following each bit of daily chore with questions about the care and accuracy of its execution. In other words, I was already micro-managinging everything I wished to avoid; to solve the problem I obviously needed to avoid my own obsessive attitudes. But how does all of this apply to food and diet?

Here we might be reminded of the three youths from Judah, Shadrack, Meshach and Abednego in the Book of Daniel. Rejecting fats, sugar and salt they subsisted very well on fresh fruits and vegetables as might we all. Of course they did this with the Lord's help, also as might we all--and far better than those of the current dietary ethos. But who else has seen our daily living as such a thankless and wearisome journey? Solomon the Wise,if he is indeed the author, that's who!

In Ecclesiastes there are echos of my despair: "The thing that has been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done; and there is no new thing under the sun." 1:9. ""I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.(1:14). " That which is crooked cannot be made straight; and that which is wanting cannot be numbered (1:15). But could not one strive for self-improvement? "And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly; I percieved that this also is vexation of spirit (1:17). "For in much wisdom is much grief;and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow (1:18). "Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grgrievous to me; for all is vanity and vexation of spirit" (2:17).

Remember however, that even the Devil may quote Scripture out of context to suit his own ends; I hope I am not doing that too. It is also written therein several times, "Behold that which I have seen; it is good and comely for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him; for it is his portion" (5:18). It is declared that "This is the gift of God", and added further, "For he shall not much remember the days if his life; because God answereth him in the joy of his heart" (5:20)

With that we have come full circle and It is clear that I should have consulted The Word to begin with, is it not written too--first seek ye the kingdom of God?