Written by John Immel,
But my joy comes from a deeper source.
I am joyful because I love Jesus. I am joyful because my beloved Jesus came to bring life, and bring it abundantly. I am joyful because He is near to me. He is the bread of life, loving me and nurturing me. Jesus has given me a new heart, a heart to care for other people, a heart to heal the world.
I am joyful because Jesus' love is my food. He fed me the love that my whole being sought, but could not find. I too searched for many years - I was Muslim. I practiced Judaism. I was a meditating yogi. Once I found Jesus, His love filled my heart with an everlasting joy, a joy that was natural to my humanity, a sustainable joy I could depend on.
Though I once thought believing in Jesus was a fairy tale & ridiculous, I can now truly say that Jesus has saved me. What makes me so joyful about Jesus is that life in Christ is not only richly spiritual, it is richly human. Jesus' love is different: His gentle love affirms humanity, community, and caretaking - the very same things Ayurveda loves as well.
When I found Ayurveda, I could think of nothing else but to share the treasures of Ayurveda with all who would listen. How could I contain the joy of my discovery, or keep it to myself? Every day my clients affirmed how Ayurveda has healed them, and how, because of Ayurveda, they have new hope.
Friends, many Christians cannot contain the joy of their discovery either. It seems that everywhere you go, someone declares how Christ has saved them too, that He has given them new hope.
Nowhere else, and no other person, has given so many people so much joy and love, or has changed so many lives. So many people have said that Christ has saved them it has become a cliche. I've learned something wonderful in every faith I have studied. I have discovered many truths through other faiths. But God had to come as a human, in a human body, to show me the full meaning of my humanity, and how to have a human heart.
I can remember a time when the joy, passion and zeal of Christians offended me, when the strength and confidence of Christians frightened me. In my ignorance of who He was and what His love offered, I felt oppressed by the sheer confidence of Christians. But in getting to know Christ, I have found Him beloved, worthy of all my heart, and His word true. Now I understand the courage and strength of Christians in a whole new way. Christians want to share something truly wonderful with the world, a whole new way of life, just like Ayurveda.
Does that make me a silly evangelist? Friends, it's not the first time I've been silly for love, giddy for something life giving, or passionately committed to what is beautiful and lovely. I discovered Ayurveda before I knew Christ. Ayurveda exudes an ease about it. Ayurveda understands my body. Ayurveda was able to both affirm my body as it is, as well as guide and transform me into something better. This made it naturally pleasing to me. Because it is true, I came to love Ayurveda.
Once I came to know Christ, I found His manner naturally pleasing and true too. His way exudes a certain ease, also. He transformed my life into something better, too. So, I soon found myself loving Him. Ayurveda and Christ are truly lovely to behold. Plus, Jesus is my friend, and He is also more than a friend. He is God. He gave me life. So that I can truly say He is the source of the joy in Joyful Belly.
Now let's talk about the Belly!
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About the AuthorJohn Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda biocharacteristics. His approach to Ayurveda is clinical, yet exudes an ease which many find enjoyable and insightful. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda, offering professional clinical training in Ayurveda for over 15 years.
John's interest in Ayurveda and specialization in digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, as well as public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.
John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well. Outside of work, John enjoys spending time with his wife and 6 kids, and pursuing his love of theology, philosophy, and language.