Brain injuries are strange things.
When I was 17 or so several friends of mine where hanging out, goofing around like teenagers generally do. A few of them hopped on the tailgate of a pickup that someone had driven there, and rode down the long drive way. Suddenly they hit a bump and one of the girls riding in the back lost her balance, fell from the truck, and cracked the back of her head on the ground.
I wasn’t there so I don’t know all the details, but bleeding and unconscious, she was rushed to the hospital. She recovered fairly quickly aside from some minor headaches for a week or so afterwards. Recovered, except for the fact that she’d completely lost her sense of taste and most of her sense of smell.
One small accident and the ability to sense flavors was gone. For the first few months after the accident she had an incredibly difficult time eating and had to force herself to consume enough food to stay healthy. The last time we talked was several years ago – about 5 years after the accident – and she was still without her sense of taste.
Maybe God’s done healing work since then, I don’t know. But ever since that incident I’ve sworn not to take for granted the fact that God has given us the ability to taste and enjoy our food. It didn’t need to be that way. He very well could have wired us to simply eat to fulfill a need, but instead God created us so that the mingling of scents, flavors, and colours can provide a nearly endless series of delights when we snack or sit down for a meal with family and friends.
We’re called to give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thess 5). One of the best ways to cultivate a soul that is always in a posture of gratitude is to take time to appreciate the tens of thousands of small gifts that God has given us. The ability to taste and enjoy food. The feeling of warm sun and cool breeze. The fact that vibrations in the air can enter our ears and be heard as music that uplifts our soul. The ability to see colors. So many of the things that pile up together to make our lives beautiful are often ignored.
Take time today to appreciate the blessing of flavor. Eat a good meal. Slow down your eating and revel in the flavors, textures, and smells. Let your enjoyment be praise to God, the giver of every good gift, including lunch.