Eat, Drink and Be Blessed
During our college days, veteran psychologist Guy Wolfkill often raised his index finger in a solemn admonition which came to make a lot of common sense to us. “If you want to live the fullest life for the longest time,” Dr. Wolfkill warned, “you must learn to sacrifice present pleasures for future benefits.” Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But it isn’t, at all. In fact, your daily habits are almost sacred to you, and your appetite is usually the most sacred of all.
Said less cleverly: If you are determined to have a genuinely happy life, you must pay the price. it is not expensive in dollars, but it is in sense. It comes only by self-control, not by luck or special blessing, except as you may have long-lived ancestors whose heritage of health may give you some advantage. And the better an ancestor you are–if you can look ahead that far–the more grateful your descendants will be for their heritage of health.
Try an experiment with us as you read this chapter, and perhaps this book: Check your wisdom–your reasoning power–against the instincts of a mouse, a rat, or a dog. The mouse, remember, can reason but little. Like any animal except humans, he depends more upon instinct. Humans, the superior race, are given the power to reason things out. Given the choice between white or whole wheat bread, oiled or natural nuts, white or brown rice, the average mouse or rat will invariably take the latter. Few animals will eat to gain more weight than is best for them–unless, that is, they are domesticated by man (like fat cats and dogs). As you read, see how you react to the scientific and clinical evidence in this book. How do you choose?
Our Western influence has been so pervasive in diet that top specialists in the Orient hold us accountable for introducing white rice, the staple today of the oriental diet. The peer pressure of the West was so powerful during World War II that brown rice–which most Japanese were forced to eat for economy’s sake, was disdained as “prisoners’ food.” Even though Japanese nutritionists and physiologists noted the astonishingly taller growth of their youngsters of the War generation, the appeal of the West and their latent appetites for junk food recaptured the food market and still reigns today. Such is the appetite of man.
If we don’t take time to be well, we’ll have to take time to be sick. Sound health is a gift few of us appreciate until we lose it. And for many, that is too late. Yet the highest and best development of our physical, mental, spiritual and social powers largely depends upon our health. Good health is as crucial for making happy parents and children as they are for making a happy home. This is why we set out to give you some principled health hints as for the most recent volume in our series on happiness and fulfillment in the home.
God always sets before us an ideal–a star to reach for, a goal to seek. And His fondest wish for us is that we will allow Him to help restore in us His image which was lost in Eden–godliness, which is fashioned according to the best of biblical and scientific data available to us along with our experiences in seeking to reach this goal. We have learned much in the last ten years and even more in the last five–and we are still in the process of implementing the things we know. The first two chapters present a crucial setting for lifestyle examination. If for some reason you can’t bear this “preaching,” please move on to Chapter 3.