Lessons from a gardening blunder!

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I was chatting with a friend the other day, who shared with me the following story:

In order to encourage her plants to perform better she decided to water them using a plant growth concentrate. After a few days they began to look shrivelled and wilting. It had been hot weather so she reckoned they were just short of water so watered them again adding some more fertiliser to help them along. To her dismay the plants took an even greater turn for the worst. What was happening?

Around the same time she decided to treat some stubborn weeds with weed killer, and it was at this time, when she went to collect the bottle from the garage, that she realised her mistake. She had been feeding her plants, not with fertiliser, but with weed-killer!

Listen! What a plant feeds on will decide life or death. When it is thirsty it will drink in whatever it is given, be it nutrients or poison. Within a few days it will become evident what it has been fed on, for it will either be producing strong, healthy-looking leaves and blooms or it will be turning brown and beginning to shrivel up.

The food we put into our bodies will likewise have one effect or the other. Either we will be nourished by the nutrients our bodies need for strong, healthy growth, or we will be slowly poisoning ourselves.

Refined carbohydrates, such as those found in white bread, pastries and sweetened cereals and numerous processed foods have little nutritional value; they only satisfy for a short period of time and leave us craving more of the same. They are one of the main causes of obesity.

Chemical additives are to be found in all processed foods. In the UK there are strict rules about chemical additives and everything that is added to food as preservatives, colouring, emulsifiers, gelling agents, stabilisers etc are considered safe for human consumption. But there are many health experts who are less than happy about the situation pointing out that the rise in convenience foods, processed foods and ready meals correlates closely with the rise in obesity. Many developing nations hardly ever knew obesity, diabetes and heart disease until Western food products hit their grocery shelves – now it is very serious health concern indeed.

Another way in which some plants can be destroyed is by over-watering. The leaves start to turn yellow and then drop off! If a plant can be over-watered, then you and I can certainly be over-fed, leading to all sorts of obesity-related problems including diabetes, certain cancers, heart disease, blood pressure and strokes. Unlike with plant fertiliser or weed killer, the results are not usually so immediately obvious, but over the months and years we do reap what has been sown. It can seriously debilitate us and take years off our life.

In Fit For Life Forever we emphasise eating in total freedom, without counting calories or points or weighing out food portions. No food is absolutely forbidden. This freedom, however, is always to be balanced with responsibility. ‘All things are permissible, but not all things are good for me to do’ (1 Corinthians 6:12) God, through Moses, challenged the people of Israel: ‘This day I have set before you life and death, therefore choose life.’ (Deuteronomy 30:19) To emphasise the point (though I will not claim Scriptural orthodoxy on this!) one might say: ‘I offer you ‘fresh produce or processed food’ or even ‘organic fertiliser or weed-killer’!

A.W. Tozer, a brilliant 20th century theologian, wrote, ‘You and I are the sum total of all our choices.’ Every meal choice we make adds up. Optimum nutrition gives the highest score and a diet of junk food produces the lowest. Let us learn then to be wise stewards and glorify God in the wonderful body he has created for each one of us.

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