Traveling and eating
"Watch what you eat and drink," a friend advised me as I was leaving to go to a foreign country. What dietary advice might Christ Jesus give to the traveler today? He told his disciples in his Sermon on the Mount, "Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on." n1 Think of the many worries that could be eliminated by "taking no thought"!
n1 Matthew 6:25.
Given the fact that most of us have not yet fully proved the power of Jesus' command, it makes sense to use ordinary precaution in choosing what we eat. Yet some comprehension of Jesus' teachings can certainly serve to protect an innocent victim of food-related suffering.
After admonishing his disciples not to be anxious over what they ate and drank, Jesus asked them, "Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?" n2 Christian Science uses the term "Life" as a synonym for God and shows the real man to be the purely spiritual idea of Life. Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m "The fact is, food does not affect the absolute Life of man, and this becomes self-evident, when we learn that God is our Life." n3
n2 v. 25.
n3 Science and Health,m p. 388.
One step toward the health-giving knowledge of God as our Life is to stop holding false, distasteful thoughts. After the scribes and Pharisees questioned Jesus about his disciples' disregard of Jewish hygienic custom, he said, "Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: these are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man." n4
n4 Matthew 15:19, 20.
As we travel we should keep close track of our thoughts rather than just the menu. Ingesting critical, dissatisfied, lonely, hateful, and fearful thoughts is unhealthy. We should push them aside as unfit for mental consumption.
One evening, while visiting a foreign capital, I was sick with indigestion. I had spent the day window-shopping, criticizing almost everything I saw: the color combinations in the people's dress, dirty streets, and merchandise of inferior quality. My critical attitude fooled me into believing I was far from home and God. I blamed the intestinal reaction on the food I had eaten.
As I lay on my hotel bed, I prayed in an effort to see that God is present in every land. I knew that traveling could never take me away from God's, Life's, presence, and that bad or unusual food could not affect my true relationship to Him as His spiritual child.
I had a task to accomplish before I could say I was honestly living up to my prayer.All that painful unhappy criticism had to be eliminated. There were many things I loved about the people of this country. As I started loving, my eyes were opened to see how evident God's presence was. I felt it.
The fear of unfamiliar or contaminated food started to fade away. I got up and walked to the opera. That evening I was healed and felt no discomfort.
It's a wonderful aid to the traveler to be so certain of God as his Life that he no longer feels tempted to take anxious thought for what he eats and drinks. There is a promise we can enjoy by heeding Jesus' advice. Mrs. Eddy assures us in Science and Health,m "If we follow the command of our Master, 'Take no thought for your life,' we shall never depend on bodily conditions, structure, or economy, but we shall be masters of the body, dictate its terms, and form and control it with Truth." n5
n5 Science and Health,m p. 228.
Bon voyage! DAILY BIBLE VERSE The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. If the Lord delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. Only rebel not ye against the Lord, neither fear ye the people of the land. Numbers 14:7-9