From the staff of Dynamic Steward

Summary: Must one choose lentils over Turkish Delight? In most cases, the answer is "yes." But the author here stresses balance in life. Health, with a strong emphasis on balanced, wholesome living, is a non-negotiable for stewards of the Kingdom.

In his classic Christian series for children of all ages, C. S. Lewis tells how the White Witch of Narnia meets Edmund, one of the four children who accidentally enters Narnia through the wardrobe, and puts him under her spell.

Edmund’s appetite is his downfall—for he becomes the witch’s captive when he greedily eats a whole box of Turkish Delight and begs for more. In the original The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the artist clearly captures what one might look like after devouring a whole box of sugary candy.

This illustration puts me in mind of another story on the effects of diet. Four bright, young men were offered what was considered the best food and wine around—taken directly from the table of the king himself! But Scripture says, Daniel stepped out, determined that he would not defile himself by eating this rich fare [Dn 1].

Instead, he and his friends requested a ten-day trial of simple food and water. Depending on the translation, the food has been called pulse, lentils, or vegetables. You would think that such a short time might not do the trick. But "at the end of the ten days, they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food" (Dn 1:15). Not only did the lads pass this short-term test, but after the three-year training period, they proved to be far superior to their peers in knowledge and skill—in both books and life.

In this issue of Dynamic Steward we take up the topic of health and reflect on its relationship to stewardship. We know that how we care for our bodies—both physically and emotionally—shapes the quality of life we possess.

In order to live a life to the fullest and serve God faithfully, we need a balance of healthful practices in our lives— fresh air, sunlight, moderation, rest, exercise, proper diet, pure water inside and out, confidence in His power—all of these are remedies for optimal health (Ministry of Healing, p 128).

Magic spells aside, perhaps "Turkish Delight verses Lentils" is no way to title this writing after all. For there is room for most things, in moderation. But health, with a strong emphasis on balanced, wholesome living, is a non-negotiable for stewards of the Kingdom.

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January–March, 2005

Health