This Tuesday, I was on the run all day and by about 7:00 in the evening, I realized that I hadn't eaten anything since breakfast. I was on my way to serve at the Legal Aid Ministry and worried that if I didn't eat something, I wouldn't be at my best. I would be distracted and impatient. I started fantasizing about eating pizza, or a cheeseburger and fries. I was not imagining eating a salad (although I rarely do that under any circumstances) or fruit. I wanted something substantial that would immediately satiate the hunger. It was one of those times that stopping for fast-food started to seem like a good idea. I could just drive up, think little, and eat in the car on the way. Later in the night, I would likely feel bloated and in need of some kind of cleanse. I would also have consumed too many calories and fat. But at the time, I was willing to undergo such things in the long-term if my short-term hunger could be satisfied. Of course, had I snacked during the day to keep my energy up instead of letting myself get to that place, I wouldn't have wanted to gorge on anything that came my way.
If I go a day without reading Scripture, I start to feel famished -- like it's 7:00 p.m. and I haven't eaten all day. I am not at my best; I am distracted and impatient. And as the days add up, I begin to starve and will reach for anything that even looks like food. I want a quick fix to satiate the hunger and longing that disturbs my soul. I will fill myself with almost anything that comes along. I begin to believe that I can be satisfied by eating a great meal, or drinking a glass of wine, or flirting with a dangerous relationship, or buying a new i-Phone, or, fill in the blank with whatever it is. Not everything I seek to fill the longing with is bad or sinful in and of itself, but it is, at best, unsatisfying. The short-term hunger may be assuaged, but it returns and the longing remains. The more time that passes, the more I lose track of God all together and I can convince myself that fast-fixes are the only fixes, that they aren't that bad, that I can stop when I need to, and that I will just push through until I have more time. You know what I mean. Fast food starts to seem like a good idea.
Do not be deceived. The longing you have is for God. And it can only be satisfied by the presence of God. Not even an i-Phone 5 will touch it. The person you don't believe you can live without doesn't come close to satisfying. You know this. I know this. Because we cannot touch and see God face to face right now, the only way to reach our longing is to be immersed in the Word of God, the bread of life. (John 1:1; 6:35) He is the only one who can satisfy the hunger. You wouldn't go a day without food by choice. You don't actually believe fast food is better for you. What if you ate the bread of life every day, three times a day, all day? Life-changer.