"Your life is an occasion. Rise to it!" - Mr. Magorium

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Are You a Generous Liver?

In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (129:30), Mary Baker Eddy writes:

The generous liver may object to the author's small estimate of the pleasures of the table. The sinner sees, in the system taught in this book, that the demands of God must be met. The petty intellect is alarmed by constant appeals to Mind. The licentious disposition is discouraged over its slight spiritual prospects. When all men are bidden to the feast, the excuses come. One has a farm, another has merchandise, and therefore they cannot accept.

I'd read that for years without thinking about it. I supposed "generous liver" had something to do with over-action in the bodily liver. Today I actually took the time to look up the words “generous” and “liver”. Merriam-Webster has “archaic” definitions for each of the two words. Remember, Mrs. Eddy wrote Science and Health in the late 1800s through the early 1900s.

Merriam-Webster tells us that an archaic definition for “generous” is “highborn” or “of noble birth”. They further state that “liver” used to mean “a determinant of the quality or temper of a man”, ie. how a person behaves.

So the question I'm asking you to consider today is, do you turn away from the demands of God as someone of a “highborn” temperament might look down on a buffet of white bread, peanut butter, potato chips, and grape soda?

I did. That's why I never made much progress in the study of Christian Science prior to my “health crisis”. Although I was never into drinking, smoking or drugs, I was far too absorbed with the “acceptable” pleasures of this world.

Before my illness you could discern my love for food simply by looking at me. I lost 60 lbs in the six weeks surrounding my surgery in '07. Having been on a liquid diet since then I've been able to keep them off.

But after my surgery, I was content to accept my role in life as a partial invalid. And even though some of the pleasures of life weren't available to me in that role, I still spent most of my time watching movies and playing video games. Hardly pursuits that spiritualize thought (especially when the games are hack and slash role playing games).

Now I understand that when my healing is complete I'll be able to enjoy food in moderation without making it a god or using it as an escape. I'll also be able to play a game now and then without having to play it for hours on end day after day. And I'm still enjoying movies but, as I've discussed in a previous post, I'm much more circumspect about the content of the films I choose.

Now I spend much of my day in study and prayer; affirming my relationship to God as his beloved son and my relationship to my fellow man as a spiritual brother. So, my answer is, “No, I am no longer a generous liver... although I used to be.” What's your answer?

1 comment:

  1. I'm guessing that your life is more rewarding now that you are living in more richly spiritually.