Blaise Pascal helps us find our true selves on life's journey.
This short group of talks has been delayed because Day 5 has eluded me. It was revealed in Sunday in church, something rather odd. Will you help me find my true purpose in these twilight years of my life?
In the last ten years I have become passionately interested in those things that make for better health. With a background in science, but my greatest weakness, biochemistry, has become my chief interest in life.
And so for ten years I have immersed myself in such matters as the Blue Zones, where long life is the norm, in growing organic food and in studying obscure chemicals; such those phytonutrients in food that help prevent macular degeneration and the neurodegenerative diseases. Substances like lutein and beta-cryptoxanthin; lignans that most of us have never heard of.
These are the phytonutrients and vitamins that will determine in large measure whether we will fall into dementia or die long before our time from one of the chronic degenerative diseases.
And the fermentation of many foods that will augment what is known as the microbiome; the friendly bugs in the gut that have such an important influence on inflammation and whether we will get cancer or not.
The appalling irreversible stunting of South African children, literally a half of the kids in many rural villages, has become increasingly central to my thinking. Whilst a very complex subject I have come to understand that the milling of grains like wheat and mealies is foundational to the issue.
Millers remove the protein and best parts and we are left with cake flour and super number-one refined mealie meal. Feeding them and cereals like cornflakes to our children has very serious consequences, and yet most South Africans are completely oblivious of the dangers.
This journey into the nature of our food has been a great blessing to us personally. In our mid seventies we have no health issues and take no medication. We mill our wheat and mealies, in small quantities, bake our own bread using 100% flour.
No I am not boasting. But the conviction that has been coming to me, is that God has given me this great passion, not just for my own benefit but that I may pass it on to those suffering dreadful health from what is today being called the industrial diet. Refined, much of the goodness extracted and preserved with umpteen chemicals it’s killing us. Literally.
What remains is so tasteless that heaps of flavour-enhancers, sugar and salt must be added to make it palatable.
I started the Better Health for Christians course at Ascension, but Covid put a stop to that. Now I am asking God, what shape should future activities take. Should they be on Zoom, or is meeting together as we did before the way to go? I am unsure and have no direct guidance. Yet I feel the weight of this compulsion to pass on what I have learned to others.
One such issue, and perhaps pie in the sky, completely overreaching myself, is to make freshly ground mealiemeal readily available in Hilton at a competitive price with the highly refined grain that is consumed by so many. We do that for ourselves, but I would need a much larger mill to supply many children so that they too could enjoy whole tasty food.
To save South African children from stunting, that would need to happen in every village and town in the country. How big can we dream? What is the role of the church in such social issues? Is this of God, is it finding my true purpose in life? I feel completely humbled and totally insufficient even to the first step forwards.
Perhaps there is a grinder out there sitting unused and looking for a home. Maybe I need to find a commercial miller with the same heart’s desire.
Through an amazing God-incidence we have met a Christian farmer who grows non-GM yellow maize, extremely difficult to get; one huge step forwards. The mealiemeal is to die for, the flavour and nutrition without equal. But is it only for me and my family? Is God opening a door to make this blessing available to all around us. Half of me says, “wait, be still” the other half “seek and you will find”.
If the chief end of man is to "Glorify God and enjoy Him forever," then surely part II is to impart our knowledge and gifts to others, to be his hands and feet, especially to the body of Christ; but God loves the whole world.
It my heart’s desire that you and many others may enjoy God forever, but in better health here on earth. That is my greatest desire now as I approach my twilight years. Would you pray for me, as I do for you, that we may all discover our chief tasks in life. If we do not heed the heavenly music playing out in our hearts and minds, we will have betrayed both God and ourselves.
Blaise Pascal helps us find our true selves when we have lost the plot; discovering the will of God and then being obedient to the call.
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