Why is Eating so Enjoyable?
“When you open your hand, they are filled with good things.” – Psalm 104:28
When I was a child my mother made us name one thing we were grateful for each night before dinner. Sometimes this was as easy as breathing. Other times it was more difficult. The day my orthodontist told me I’d have to wear headgear 24 hours a day. “Matt, what are you grateful for?” Two days after my father’s funeral, “Matt, what are you grateful for?” The night I learned I didn’t get accepted to the college my heart was set on, “Name one thing you’re grateful for.”
Here’s the thing, no matter how much those days stung, and they did, I could always find something to be grateful for. She didn’t have to push. She just had to ask. God pours goodness into our lives, even when our lives are falling apart.
Why the pain? Why the pain? Why the pain? We rarely ask the opposite. Why is God so good to us?
Why does your partner’s embrace feel so good? You could survive without it. Why is eating so enjoyable? We don’t need the luxury of taste buds. Why does music have melody and rhythm? Why do you float when you lay on your back in Lake Michigan?
G.K Chesterton says it perfectly in a poem written to be read at bedtime.
“Here dies another day
During which I have had eyes, ears, hands
And the great world round me;
And with tomorrow begins another.
Why am I allowed two?”
“Dear God, Thank you for the problem of goodness. Amen.”
Matt Fitzgerald is the Senior Pastor of St. Pauls United Church of Christ in Chicago. He is the host of “Preachers on Preaching,” a weekly podcast sponsored by The Christian Century.