August 12, 2012

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“O taste and see that the Lord is good.”
Psalm 34: 8  (NRSV)

Yuck or yum?

According to food scientists, the seemingly simple sense of taste is very sophisticated: A cascade of complex chemical reactions occur between that bite of butter-brickle ice cream and those always-ready taste receptors in my mouth.

Our taste perception is dictated at lightning speed by a food’s flavor, aroma, texture and color. Perception is also colored by our taste memory bank.

A cherished memory (being in Grandma’s warm and fragrant kitchen enjoying her molasses cookies) or an unpleasant recollection (being required to finish all the overcooked cauliflower on my plate) determine whether I want to savor or spit out a morsel.

Mindful tasting gives me the best information. Paying attention to what I’m eating—appreciating the shapes and colors on my plate, breathing in aromas, perceiving textures as I chew—allows me to fully appreciate the cook’s offerings.

In accepting the psalmist’s invitation, I can be mindful in this tasting exercise as well.  Being present, I savor moments in my life:

Sampling the unique joys of each season.
Salivating at the anticipation of a new day’s dawning.
Drinking in the company of cherished friends.

Prayer:
Generous Source of all good, remind us to have all of our senses set on “receive.” Amen

Question:
What flavors are mine to taste in this moment?

Written by Robin Kline

The Bridge is a collaborative ministry by four Downtown Des Moines churches. The Bridge Meditations are part of the ministry of The Bridge which is working to enrich the lives of those working, living and visiting downtown Des Moines. Programs developed by The Bridge offer spiritual formation and development, professional counseling, holistic health and family support. The Connection Cafe is a Bridge ministry whichprovides a free mid-day meal five days per week. The Connection Cafe is located next to the YWCA on Grand Avenue and is supported by many churches and civic organizations in its ministry. For more information, or to volunteer to help with The Bridge, The Connection Cafe or other Downtown Des Moines ministries contact Rob Hoover at 515-771-1481 or by email at theconnectioncafe@hotmail.com
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