What is the difference between tasting something and savoring something? I was asked to speak to a group of clergy persons this week. The topic? Self-care. As I prepared for the presentation, the question surfaced for me: What is the difference between tasting and savoring? My personal point of reference for this question is food. I enjoy cooking, and I relish opportunities to experience culinary excellence. New restaurants. Unusual foods. Gastronomic delights. Certainly, “tasting” and “taste” are important to my encounters with food. I enjoy tasting foods—“ascertaining the flavor by taking a little into the mouth” (Merriam-Webster)—and certain flavors particularly appeal to my sense of taste. But to “savor” a particular food or dining experience? To savor is, for me, a different matter altogether. The word “savor” is derived from the Latin sapere, which is related to the Latin word for wisdom. To savor is to appreciate fully, to enjoy or relish. It requires a certain amount of patience and perhaps even wisdom.
What does this have to do with clergy self-care? Or with well-being? In a world as fast-paced, frenzied, and frantic as ours, savoring can be an elusive practice. We taste countless things every day, it seems, but rarely do we have the time or take the time to savor any of those things. To taste them with pleasure. To observe them with relish or delight. To consider with curiosity and care their breadth and depth. Savoring life is important to personal well-being. It is also important to societal well-being, to the overall health of human communities. People who savor creation cultivate wisdom for caring about creation. People who savor food cultivate wisdom about the sources of food and a concern for food accessibility for all people. People who savor life seek strategies for improving the health and life of all humanity.
Religious leaders today have unique and growing opportunities to cultivate well-being in congregations and in other communities where they serve. Recognizing this and committed to equipping students “to be agents of justice, reconciliation, and compassion in Christian churches and other ministries,” the School of Divinity has developed a new Well-Being and Religious Leadership Program.
Read more about it on the School’s blog, Unfolding, here. We’ll also have more information about it on the website in the coming weeks.
|Deadline to Apply for Internship Awards||March 8|
|Spring Break||March 9 – 17|
|Registration for Fall 2013||begins April 1|
|Advising for Fall 2013||March 25 – 28|
Note: The official posting date for the fall 2013 schedule is next Friday, March 8.
>> View the full edition of This Week online.
Blessings on the week ahead,
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs