Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Balanced Diet

The food groups. Grains. Meat/Beans. Milk. Fruits. Vegetables. Fats. A balanced diet is important. My meal planning usually revolves around an entree, some type of bread, fruit, and a dessert. What's missing? You guessed it - the vegetables. I'm not terribly creative when it comes to side dishes, so when my neighbor sent me an e-mail inviting me to participate in a fall vegetable share, you can imagine my excitement! With my pre-payment, I'd receive a box of fresh, locally grown, seasonal produce each week. Hmmm...this could be the answer I was looking for. By signing up, I'd be challenging myself to branch out and add creativity to my dinners. I decided to do it!

Yesterday I picked up my first box of goodies. It seemed like Christmas all over again as I gingerly opened the box and peered at the contents: bok choy, field greens, lettuce, sweet potatoes, apples, and what appeared to be white radishes. So what if all of the contents in the box weren't exactly vegetables by definition?! I was ecstatic. This is what I was after.

Since I paid for the produce, I don't want any of it to go to waste. Never mind the fact that I've never actually used bok choy in a recipe before. With a bit of research, I can download a highly rated recipe to try later this week. The original, organic vegetable salad that accompanied our meal last night was exactly what was needed. It created the perfect balance for the pulled pork barbecue sandwiches, fruit cups, and pumpkin cobbler.

Just like a balanced diet is important, a well-balanced life is essential. 'Being' and 'doing' are two key ingredients. 'Being' is rooted in my relationship with Jesus Christ. Spending time with Him daily in prayer and Bible study. He is the focal point, "For in him we live, and move, and have our being," (Acts 17:28; KJV). He is worthy of my praise. In the words of David, the sweet psalmist of Israel, "Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's"(Psalm 103:1-5).

'Doing' prompts me to service. I'm reminded of the verse in the book of Luke, "...Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself." When I love the Lord completely, that love will motivate me to serve Him. Serving my Savior is linked with serving others. Whether speaking a word of encouragement, praying for a burdened believer, taking a meal to someone who's sick, or sharing the gospel with someone who's without hope, I'm doing those things that please the Lord.

Even as my dinner wasn't balanced when vegetables were missing, my life can't be balanced without both 'being' and 'doing'. Spending time at the feet of the Master should motivate me to serve Him. The book of James makes this point clear, "If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone" (James 2:15-17).

'Being' without 'doing' creates a distorted image of God. One in which I'm front and center and there's no room for others. 'Doing' without 'being' focuses on what I can accomplish. I either burn out or develop a false sense of pride. The right balance between 'being' and 'doing', however, gives the proper perspective of humbling myself before a holy God and serving others with the desire to point them to Him. And THAT is exactly what is needed!

Is your life out of balance? If so, do you struggle more with 'being' or 'doing'? What steps can you take today to make your life more balanced?

Heavenly Father, thank You for the life You've given me. I'm so thankful for who You are - my Creator, my Savior, my Master. You know that I struggle to maintain balance in my life. Help me to properly balance 'being' and 'doing' that my life would be an accurate reflection of You. I love You. In Jesus' name, Amen.


  1. Being and doing needs a balance, I agree, and your idea of joining the vegetable program is brilliant. Now you will use them!
    Bok choi can be good sauteed in a little olive oil, with chopped garlic and people can add soy sauce at the table if they like.

  2. Hi Maria -

    As a kid, I ate vegetables out of obedience. As an adult, I've learned to appreciate their flavors.

    As a baby Christian, I knew the joy of "being," but the "doing" required some discipline. As a more mature believer, "doing" brings great joy.

    Susan :)

  3. Great analogy Maria, thanks!
    Although I 've been coming to the USA for a long time, my cooking is still Dutch, which means: a different vegetable every day!
    As for being and doing, I really try to balance, but I need reminders all the time, such as your post!

  4. Yes, great analogy! I hope you have a great Friday.

  5. Terra - Thanks so much for the bok choy recipe! My neighbor had mentioned the same idea - must be extra yummy! Looking forward to trying it! Have an amazing weekend and God bless! :)

    Susan - Love your connection between baby Christians and their behavior, and more mature Christians and their more disciplined behavior! Thank you for always giving me food for thought! Enjoy the weekend, my friend! Hugs and blessings! :)

    Marja - Oh, I'd love to sample Dutch cooking! Do you ever travel to Georgia? Maybe you could share a recipe with me?! Glad I'm not the only one who has to constantly practice balance when it comes to 'being' and 'doing'. Thanks for your encouragement! Blessings to you, my friend! :)

    Diana - I must say I enjoyed writing about food! Yumm! Makes me hungry just thinking about it! Hope you have a fantastic Friday as well! :)

  6. Thanks for your beautiful post Maria. I love that you remind us all our service to others is motivated by our desire to introduce them to Christ.
    Knowing who we are in Christ guides us to be the people He desires. Bless you,
    Hugs Dotti :)

  7. Beautiful prayer and great reminder. Found you through Jill's blog. Have a great weekend! :O)

  8. Dotti - So glad you stopped by! You're an inspiration and a good example of balanced being and doing! Praying for you as your daughter transitions from high school to university. The Lord knows exactly what you both are experiencing and I know He'll provide what you both need! Have a beautiful weekend and God bless you, my friend! :)

    Diane - Welcome to Life Lessons! So glad you stopped by and left such a sweet comment. I'll be sure to check out your site and invite you to stop back by! I typically post on Mondays and Thursdays. Have a wonderful weekend and God bless!