We recently had a young lady join us for dinner. As we sat down, she looked around the table and saw a fourth place setting, while there were only three of us present. As she filled our glasses with water, including the fourth one, she enquired, “Do we have another guest joining us tonight”? “No”, I replied. “Just the Host…”
She appeared puzzled, so I explained, “the food that we see before us has been grown in different places, nourished by different soils, waters, air and rays of sunshine. They all come together, in a precise manner on our plates, to nourish us physically and spiritually, binding us completely with nature. Thus, the process of sitting and dining together, and honouring our food with gratitude, is a sacred experience, at all levels of the body, mind and spirit. Hence, the additional place setting at our dinner table is for the Provider of everything we receive, serving as a reminder of the magnitude of the moment…”
“This is why, for example, fasting is practiced by so many faiths and cultures all over the world. It creates a hunger, not just for physical nourishment, but also for that spiritual bonding with nature, which heightens our awareness of the higher self…”
Towards the end of dinner, the young lady looked at the glass of water at the fourth place setting. It was filled with bubbles, full of life, almost like soda water; very different in appearance to the rest of our glasses. We all shared this precious water, that quenched our thirsts like no other…
Ever since I was blessed with this beautiful realization some thirty years ago, I have seldom eaten my food mechanically, or while on the run. Why give up the priceless experience of dining with the Provider…?