Alive: Chapter 22 - Circle Back to Meaning - Food Power

Noah and his family had to store enough food in the ark to keep them alive for an undetermined period of time after the 40 days of rain. Who knew how long it would be before they could grow food even after landing? They also needed enough food for the animals.

Before the flood, at Creation, God said to Adam and Eve, "See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, every tree with seed in its fruit, you shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food." Man and animal alike were vegan. I imagine that they stored plenty of nuts, and dried fruit on the ark. It wasn't until they landed with very little food left and no time to wait for the planting cycle did God suggest that they eat the animals. Such a notion terrified them and repulsed them, but they had no choice.

Lazaria, the most sensitive and spiritual of the group, was only able to eat meat when she thought that the animal would continue to live through her. Otherwise, she couldn't do it. She would die before killing an animal for food. Our diet informs the way we perceive life, how we relate to nature, and it informs our thoughts and behavior.

Food is medicine. What we take into our mouths finds its way to every cell, even into our minds and our hearts, the center of our psyches which are not physical. The properties of drugs, legal or recreational, clearly show the effect of what goes into our mouths in an exaggerated way. Even though controlling what comes out of our mouth is more important to our spiritual wellbeing than what goes in, nevertheless controlling what goes in makes a difference in who we are. Everything that goes into our mouths, and how we decide what to put in, affect us subtly but distinctly. Hunger is not always bad. Hunger when fasting strengthens us when it is a result of our will to master ourselves, rather than continuously giving in to every little desire. This exercise of the will, which is willing and able to endure hunger pangs, becomes strong enough to fight evil and win. It is strong enough to resist the devil, and to obey God. No matter what.

It is a good spiritual exercise to replicate the eating regimen of life in the ark of salvation, during the forty day period of Great Lent. Let Lent call you into the ark of salvation.

During the 40 days of Great Lent the Church invites us in more often, into its buildings and into its sacred world, even when we are home. A key aspect of being in the ark is eating as they did. No meat, not even dairy products, because there was no mention of that. Surely, in the ark, the chickens and cows stopped producing. Eat sparingly and only what Noah and his family could eat. See what that does for your soul.
To eat as if you and I were in the ark is to evolve spiritually as did Noah and his family.

To use a different standard when deciding what goes into our mouths, a standard given to us by the Church, is to humble ourselves. We adults rarely have such an opportunity to voluntarily place ourselves under the care and guidance of a spiritual parent. Grab the opportunity Great Lent offers, by fasting as the Church prescribes. Use fasting as a tool to open your heart and mind so that you may perceive more clearly the spirit world around you.

Change of diet through fasting and abstinence helps to change the mind and heart. It helps us to be aware that we are in the period of Great Lent; to be aware of being in a separate place in time. When it comes down to it, we have to wonder how any food, be it steak or ice cream could possibly surpass the value of such spiritual awareness.

Besides, resisting forbidden fruit is a good way to show God that unlike Adam and Eve, we could resist eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and that we are worthy of a do-over.