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Eat, Pray, and Love: Lessons Christians Can Learn to Live More Purposefully Today

posted 27 Sep 2010, 14:57 by Sam Mbale


Although I have yet to read the book, "Eat, Pray, and Love" I
did see the movie and really enjoyed it. Watching the movie
generated some of my own ideas about how I, as a Christian,
can incorporate some of these great disciplines in my own
life. I left the theater thinking that even if we had the
luxury of taking a year-long excursion to far off places, it
really isn't necessary to learn the life lessons so
eloquently depicted on the author's journey. Whether you are
a Christian, or of any other faith, these life lessons can
benefit us all. Below are some Eat, Pray, Love Lessons we
can all learn from.

Eat


Eat foods that nourish your body, satisfy your palette, and
build relationships. The author's first destination took her
to Italy, where the art of food is celebrated and cherished.
Forgetting about calories, food labels, and all those little
"shoulds and should nots" blaring on every health and fitness
magazine in America, she embraced every bite with love and
enthusiasm. In almost every scene she is seen eating
full-course meals with her new-found friends, engaging in
heart-felt conversation, and enjoying every bite. No eating
in front of the television, in the car, on the go, or
pulling out of fast food joints. And the one time we see her
eating alone, she prepares her food with love and intention.
While sitting on the floor she eats her beautifully prepared
meal with her full attention wearing her newly purchased
lingerie. Eating was no longer just for health, nutrients,
or even to suppress unresolved emotions. No, eating became a
part of life, something that added value to her day,
something that she could look forward to as an extension of
who she wanted to be.

So how can we eat with more passion and substance without
taking a trip to a foreign country?  First of all, change
your perspective about food. Instead of looking at food only
for as a source of health and necessity, make meal time a
celebration and daily ritual. As often as you can, prepare
meals at home, set the table with favorite plates,
tablecloths, and utensils, and make dining a family affair.
Make it a rule that everyone must sit at the table for a set
amount of time, even if they finish before everyone else.
Don't allow meal time to be just another daily task, but a
time to reconnect with family. If you live alone, frequently
invite friends over to break bread together. You can cook
healthy foods that are satisfying and good for you too.
Browse through cookbooks and online to find healthy versions
of your favorite meals and at least several times a week, go
all out.  Not only will your food be healthier for you,
you'll enjoy eating more, while satisfying our cravings for
human connection and intimacy, something so many of us are
missing today.

Pray

Spend time with God in prayer and meditation. The author's
second destination took her to India, where she would learn
the art of meditation to conquer her fears and quiet her
restless mind. Initially she failed in her quest to be still
and stop thinking. Thoughts about her past mistakes and even
her present circumstances plagued her mind constantly. She
was in the Mecca of the meditation world and couldn't find
inner peace. Just as it eluded her, it eludes many of us
today. Fortunately, with the encouragement of others and the
constant practice, meditation became a part of her daily life
that helped to keep her balanced and centered. As a
Christian, you may shy away from practices like meditation;
however, meditation is clearly supported by scripture and
Jesus himself. We are told in the Bible that it was Jesus
daily custom to find a solitary place and spend time with
God. And before Jesus started his public ministry, he spent
40 days and nights in the wilderness with God. Joshua 1:8
tells us to meditate on God day and night if we want success
in life.

Yet meditation has gotten a bad rap. Of course, there are
types of meditation that Christians want to avoid. However,
meditation is just another tool that can help us grow in our
relationship with God. By learning to quiet our mind we
create an environment to "Be still and know God" in a more
intimate way. By meditating on the word of God, we allow His
word to inwardly transform us. By meditating on God's
presence, we learn to abide with God and learn to worship
Him in Spirit and in truth. So how does prayer differ from
meditation? I have often heard that prayer is talking to
God, but meditation is giving God an opportunity to speak to
us. Many Christians know how to pray very well, but few know
how to listen and hear the still small voice of their
Heavenly Father.

Although the author learned how to meditate by studying
under the spiritual gurus of India, we can learn to meditate
on God anytime and anywhere and get the same results. There
are also many forms of meditation that are suitable for
Christians from purchasing a guided Christian meditation CD,
meditating on God's word, dwelling in God's presence, or even
practicing centering prayer. You can explore many types of
Christian meditation that will enhance your life and
relationship with God.  Making prayer and meditation a part
of your daily life is all you need to add more meaning to
your life and daily experiences.

Love

Love God with all your heart, soul, and strength and love
your neighbor as yourself. The third destination of the
author was the beautiful island of Bali. I don't suspect
that when she arrived there she knew that love was right
around the corner. In fact, it ran her off the road. Her
soon to be beloved knocked her off her bike as she rode
through the countryside. However, because of a failed
marriage, her fear of losing herself, or making another
mistake, she almost let love sip through her fingers. It was
the medicine man she visited frequently who told her that
"love" is a part of a balanced life. Up until this point I
think she believed that she didn't deserved love, she wasn't
good at love, or that true love didn't really exist.

I know that many single women and men would love to go to an
exotic island and meet the man or woman of our dreams. Yet
there is a part of me that believes it is difficult to love
another person without first loving God and loving yourself.
As a result of loving God we learn valuable lessons about
love. Corinthians chapter 13 tells us that love is patient,
love is kind, it is not rude, it is not self-seeking, and it
always hopes for the best. In fact, true love can never fail;
however, we fail when we refuse to operate out of a spirit of
love.

You have heard that you can't give away something that you
don't have. Love is no different. When we learn to love
ourselves that love flows out to all who surround us, male,
female, young, or old. In fact, the scripture tells us that
in order to love our neighbor we must first love ourselves.
We love ourselves when we take the time to examine our hurts
and shortcomings and then offer them God for internal healing
and wholeness. We love ourselves when we learn who we are in
Christ and set loving boundaries that protect us from the
harmful intentions of others.  We love ourselves by taking
the time to nurture our inner spirit, physical health, and
emotional well-being, and when we are true to our own needs
and desires with the courage to integrate them into our
presence situation. Of course, this will always be an
ongoing process, but the healthier we are mentally and
spiritually, the more successful we will be in attracting
and maintaining loving relationship that will flourish and
grow.

As you learn to be patience, kind, tolerant, and trusting of
yourself and your needs, you are learning the traits that
will cultivate a strong love relationship. The author truly
loved herself when she took this long-expedition to heal her
life and find her place in the world. We can do the same
right from your own home.

Ask God to bring to your attention any areas where you are
being unloving to yourself or others and then ask Him to
help you heal in these areas.   Don't give up on love.
Whether you are already married or praying for God to bless
you with a mate, keep love flowing in your life and
relationships.  Following these steps will help you to
incorporate the lessons of Eat, Pray, and Love in your life
starting today.

About the Author:

Learn about Guided Christian Meditation CDs and resources
that will enhance your life and relationship with God at
http://www.thechristianmeditator.com .

Are you ready to transform your life and live with more
purpose and passion? Visit Detox Your Life Now and & Awaken
Your Inner Spirit at http://www.detoxyourlifenow.com to
learn more.
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