Prayer, Plain and Simple

January 8, 2010

Day 7

Weight: 205

Weight lost: -1

“I have a kind of food you know nothing about… My nourishment comes from doing the will of God.” (Jesus, in John 4:32,34).

There’s food, and then there is “food.” The oatmeal I had for breakfast has – I’m told – 250 calories, or units of energy. My body is now in the process of chemically breaking down the elements of that oatmeal to release those energy units as fuel for my day. It’s -4 degrees outside today, so in order for my body to maintain 98.5 degrees I have to “burn” a lot of that fuel in the furnace of my metabolism. Oatmeal is a fuel for the bios (the Greek word for my physical life) that makes my body work. That’s food I know about.

Jesus offers another kind of “food” for another kind of life force I carry. I run on “bios” of course. But I’m also a hybrid creature with another engine that runs on another fuel, like a hybrid car that uses two power sources. The Bible calls this kind of life “zoe” or spiritual life. Bios needs oatmeal; zoe needs doing the will of God. Eating the very life of Jesus stores fuel for a deeper and higher life. This is the mystery Jesus is describing here.

When I eat the communion meal with Jesus and others who love him I’m “doing the will of God” by tangibly bringing Jesus literally into my body. This is what I believe happens in real time and in real space.

And now I have my first tangible result. I have lost one pound. Stop the presses! Yes, success. I’m not “trying” in the typical sense. I haven’t changed my workout regimen (in fact I’ve done LESS exercise the last week than I usually do) and I’ve not dieted in any deliberate way, except that I’m daily taking “the body and blood of Christ.” Now, I have a small victory, burning two fuels for two engines for my two levels of life…

“God, I thank you for the physical food you give me. Bless it to feed my physical life. Thank you too for the spiritual food of your word, and doing the things you ask, which feeds the invisible form of life in me. And thank you for the bread and wine, your body and blood that serve as a bridge between these two worlds. They are both physical and spiritual food, and they – YOU – give me life.”  

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