I read the other day, that the term “soul food” became a thing in the mid 60’s. I have a deep and abiding love for soul food. I’m talking about country fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, mac and cheese, fried okra, cornbread, gravy, sweet tea and pecan pie. Glory!
The thing about soul food is that it reminds us of home, holidays and family gatherings. The minute I smell soul food cooking, I’m transported to a simpler, safer and gentler day. I’m comforted by comfort food. I can handle a few drops of gravy on my shirt for the deliciousness of soul food.
But, there’s a distinct difference between soul food and food for the soul. Soul food meets a temporary need with fullness and comfort. Food for the soul isn’t temporary and it requires no gravy. Food for the soul is found in at least four categories. If you’ve hung around this BLOG for awhile, you’ll know that these four are (in my humble opinion) essential for the healthy soul. The longer I pastor, counsel and coach, the more passionate I grow in my love for these essentials.
As a reminder, here are four critical essentials for a successful life…minus the sweet potato casserole.
- Peace – I’ve said it a thousand times, and I’ll say it again – without peace we make really bad decisions, and hurt our most meaningful relationships. Peace meant so much to Jesus that He offered it to His disciples the first time He spoke to them, following His resurrection. Peace is found in the trusting, obeying and resting in the presence of the Divine. Quietude isn’t essential to receive peace, but it sure expedites the process. Need a reminder? ‘Be still and know…”
- Meditation – I see meditation as a holy habit. It’s an intentional, daily time to center my mind, heart, soul and energy on the Divine and His desires or plans for me that day. It includes hearing the Scriptures, reading the Scriptures, responding to the Scriptures and listening to God as He speaks His truth deep into my soul. Build a meditation plan into your day if you really want a successful journey. Need another reminder? ‘Remember my teachings and keep my commands…”
- Forgiveness – We can never truly reach our potential if we cling to offenses (real or perceived) without allowing the healing power of forgiveness to wash over our soul with the presence of God, power of Christ and comfort of the Holy Spirit. Okay, a third reminder; “Forgive and you will be forgiven…”
- Gratitude – Start every single day with an attitude of gratitude. When we are grateful for what we have, what we have is more than enough. Gratitude causes our soul to be content, our heart to remain healthy, and our pride kept in check. Gratitude is life’s cure for the common ego. And, one final reminder! “I’ve learned to be content with little or with much, because I can do all things…”
Feed your soul today.