Until I moved south from New York City, I never understood the appeal of the “drive-thru”. I mean, I had occasionally walked down the street eating a slice of pizza, but an entire meal on the go? Who does that???
For the past sixteen years, the answer is, of course, I do. As I rush to keep pace with a life full of busy, I often find that I am sacrificing the sustaining experience of fueling my body. I think this is true for many of us – not necessarily that we indulge in franchise-provided “fast food” (although many of us do), but that we succumb to the impulse of consuming our food fast. Standing at the kitchen counter, perhaps, or hurriedly eating lunch in front of a computer screen? It is unfortunate for many reasons, not limited to our physical health. The way we eat and with whom we eat, as much as what we eat, has the potential to nourish our souls as well as our bodies. I believe we do ourselves a great disservice when we abandon the reverence of the meal.
Somewhere along the line, the idea that food consumption should be convenient above all else became ingrained in our first-world psyche, but when we prioritize saving time and energy over nurturing our spirits, we lose the many benefits that are derived from eating with intention. Food is sustenance. Food is nurturing, for both body and soul, but we don’t reap those rewards without effort and attention.
More than almost anything else in our lives, what, with whom, and how we eat deserves our time, care, and consideration. Breaking bread should be a spiritually fulfilling experience, and if we value our whole selves enough, it can be. We can find the time to slow down a bit and be fully present to the act of nourishing ourselves. To truly enjoy being sustained, on every level.
How can you slow down enough today to be truly fulfilled by your next meal?