One fascinating thing about being in other cultures is eating what they eat. During our experience in Malawi, the food proved to be a unique part of the trip. I see a parallel to our spiritual lives. Do we consider the impact of what we consume?
A staple in Malawi is corn. Since corn is one of the major crops, nsima is very common. It is cornmeal cooked until it is thick and sticky—a filling food without much flavor. It is rolled into a ball and served hot. Utensils are not needed to eat nsima. Just pinch off a piece with your fingers, push your thumb into the center, creating a shallow depression. Take your thumb and scrape beans or vegetables into the little “bowl.” Now it’s ready to eat!
Many Malawians do not consider the meal complete without nsima. It is so common that their bodies crave nsima if they don’t have it. Many Malawians eat nsima three times a day.
However, not all foods are as common as nsima. Some people in Malawi eat mice. Yes, you read that right, mice. It is considered a delicacy and is readily available along major roadways. As disgusting as it was to me, in Malawi, it was normal.
We understand our amazing bodies turn food into what we need for survival. “You are what you eat,” is a common expression. It is incredible how diverse our diets can be, yet our bodies survive and grow.
How about spiritually? What does your spiritual diet consist of? Do you have a regular “diet” of God’s word? Is the Bible a “snack,” while news and social media are the staple in your “diet?” We must be careful what we “feed on” because of the impact on who we are.
– Arlin Horst