Now that we've moved from handfuls of Christmas cookies and See's Candy into the new year, I want to cast a vision of cultivating a spiritually-rich life. A life chock-full with the richest nutrients for your heart, mind & soul.
Nutrients that will satisfy your deepest, most creative dreams and desires.
So I won't be asking you about how those guilt-inducing New Year's resolutions are going. Or how that fad diet designed to help you shed those extra holiday pounds is working. I'd like to offer you something more...
So, I'll start with chicken broth.
In the picture above, you'll see a whole slow cooker filled with delicious, yes-nutrient-rich, chicken broth I made last night for the very first time. A chicken carcass, lots of veggies, spices and herbs. Yes, chicken broth.
But please... don't get an illusions about my culinary skills. I'm not much of a crock-pot guy, but I am expanding my gastronomic repertoire.
You may be thinking, "Joey, where you going with this? Christmas cookies or chicken broth? Must I have to even think about this one?"
Well, if you could have been in my home this morning, you would have given your left arm to take in the intoxicating aroma of this warm, bubbling concoction coming from my Crock Pot cooker. Our whole home smelled D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S! (Click here if you'd like the recipe!)
Just earlier this week, I was reading about the incredible benefits of chicken broth. It powerfully reduces inflammation in your body. Strengthens your bones. Reduces joint pain. Heals the stomach. Fights infection. Helps your hair, nails, and skin. If your gramma ever pushed chicken soup on you, that's why!
Hmm...sounds vaguely familiar. Just like a warm smooth chicken broth, spiritually-rich nutrients offer power, strength, healing and overall good health. (Sans any sappy Chicken-Soup-for-the-Soul allusions.)
Don't you want that?
Looking at 2015, I have the most physically demanding race of my life coming up next June and that's why I'm trying to cut the crud out of my diet. This goes way being the forced march of being on a 'diet'. Filled with antioxidants, the dark chocolate bars I've eaten the past three nights are an essential part of my new regimen.
Too many people, in an effort to cut calories, forget that a lot of low-cal foods are also nutrient-deficient. What you and I need are not lower calories, but nutrient-rich foods that will truly nourish our bodies. How are our hearts any different? Our new hearts in Christ crave the goodness of God and rich, satisfying relationships.
At our 12 acre organic lemon and avocado grove in San Diego, we spend thousands of dollars for fertilizer and mulch. Last year, I remember complaining to our grove consultant about the high cost of fertilizer prices. I said, "Do we really need THAT MUCH fertilizer?" (i.e. We pay lots of money for South American bird crap.)
He said, "Yes. Absolutely. Those lemons and avocados need all those nutrients they can get."
He was right and I was wrong (again). Guess what? This past year, our lemon harvest was double compared to the year before. Yes, double!
When you think about cultivating a spiritually rich life -- the nutrients, the fertilizers, the sun and soil for your soul -- the things in your life that bring life and growth, what are those nutrients you can't do without?
What are the spiritually-rich nutrients that bring you life? Those very things that cultivate a satisfying life for you? For me, I have a short list. It's pretty simple. When I skimp on these items, the soil in my heart dries up pretty darn quick. I need regular doses of these essential nutrients in the rhythm of my life...
- Daily time alone with God -- scripture reflection, reading dead guy books, and just being still.
- Time with family & friends -- rich questions, sharing struggles, mutual encouragement & laughter!
- Journal writing -- writing out my prayers, processing thoughts, dilemmas, & evaluating.
- Extended Getaway time for retreat -- I'll be participating in The Journey this year with Alan Fadling.
- Exercise -- health to my body and sanity to my mind! Getting out in creation. Long ocean swims.
- Creating -- writing, brainstorming, painting, listening to all kinds of good music.
So my question for you in 2015 is, "What are the things that cultivate and enrich your spiritual life?"
Cultivating a spiritually-rich life is not about more doing, but identifying those practices and rhythms that help you become the person you are already becoming in Christ.
If you were with me right now, I'd serve you a hot cup of my chicken broth.
And then, I'd break out the dark chocolate.
Now that's rich!
I'd love your thoughts and comments... what helps you cultivate a spiritually-rich life?
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