Do you know if you’re hungry?
A post by Andrew Thompson
Waffles. Of all the breakfast food in the world, waffles are my favorite. My grandma SeaShell used to make Belgian waffles for me and my brother when we stayed over at her house on the weekends. These were ‘loaded waffles’, with generous heaps of butter, blueberries, strawberries and maple syrup. I can still smell the sweet homemade batter sizzling away in her kitchen.
Now I love breakfast, but when I when my alarm goes off in the morning, food is generally the farthest thing from my mind. But as soon as I eat something, my appetite ignites, and I realize I’m actually famished. Maybe the same is true with our appetite for the things of God.
On Sunday, David spoke from the fourth Beatitude, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for theirs is the kingdom of God.” I like that Jesus doesn’t say “blessed are those who are full and stuffed with righteousness.” For me, sometimes I don’t have this appetite for God, I don’t hunger or thirst. What do you do then? This reminds me of waking up in the morning. Even if we don’t have insatiable longing to pray or read, beginning to spend time with God usually turns into greater appetite for Jesus and his Word.
The following are a few examples from Adele Calhoun’s Spiritual Disciplines Handbook that I’ve found helpful for spending time with God:
- Spend 5-10 minutes in silence. Let the internal noise die down. Setting a timer can be helpful. Open yourself to God in prayer:
- Dialogue with God about where you’ve sense his presence in the past week.
- Consider the Scriptural names and metaphors that reveal God’s nature and character: Good Shepherd, Father, Healer, Renewer, Well-Spring, Anchor, King, etc. Let the names of God draw you into worship.
- Go for a walk and be with God. Notice signs of God’s love. If possible gather a symbol of your time with God (a rock, branch, or flower).
- Use these examen questions as a framework to process your own desires, and then talk to God about what you see:
- What is life-giving to you? What is life thwarting?
- Where do you find love, joy, and peace in your life? Where does it seem absent?
- Where are you sad? Where are you glad?
- Slowly read Psalms. 16, 19, or 42. If a word or phrase “lights up” or catches your interest, stop reading. Mediate on the word or phrase. What do you hear God saying to you?
What makes you hunger and thirst for righteousness?
February 8, 2011 @ 7:19 am
As a HIgh School teacher I have sat through many drugs talks … you know the ones about ‘be careful – lots of street drugs now look like candy”?
Imagine the scene – you’re out somewhere, feeling a little peckish and someone gives you a handful of m&ms. you start to snack… but – oops – it’s yaba (methamphetamine). They look the same but probably don’t taste the same (?) and they certainly don’t have the same effect.
The temptation when we’re hungry and thirsty to snack on stuff that doesn’t do us good (but looks like it might hit the spot) is huge.
Thanks Andrew, for reminding us to be careful where and how we graze…