The end of the school year is always cause for a mini-celebration around our house. I typically try to do something out of the ordinary to mark the close of another year of homeschooling. (Yes, we are just now finished!) I was so happy this year was over that I let Jason and Leia celebrate early with a special lunch of ice cream and cookies. They were particularly tickled because I’m usually a stickler for healthy eating, and a meal consisting entirely of dessert has, to this point, never happened.
They stood in the kitchen with stunned amazement while I heaped the bowls up with chocolate and vanilla ice cream, then topped them with chocolate sauce, and sprinkles. Sure that I would quickly come to my senses, Jason gobbled down his bowl and asked for seconds. Not to be outdone, Leia slurped up the last of her scoops and opted for second cookie. They went away delighted with their confections, but in less than an hour, they were back in the kitchen hungry again, and this time they didn’t want ice cream. That’s because sweets are tasty, but they don’t really satisfy for very long.
Our bodies crave carbohydrates, proteins, fiber, vitamins and other wholesome things. Confections will quiet hunger pangs for a little while, but they won’t support a healthy body for very long. When we fill our bodies with unhealthy things, the effects show up pretty quickly. The same is true with our spirits. When we cram them with the equivalent of junk food (bad relationships, destructive habits, the pursuit of prestige, prominence, money, independence etc), they will show the effects just like our bodies will.
The difference is that our bodily needs can be satisfied with many different kinds of nutritious food. Our spirits truly desire only one thing, and that is a close relationship with God Himself.
“Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and you will delight in the richest of fare.
I remember a pastor telling the story of a man who years ago saved his money to go on an cruise to Alaska. He’d only had barely enough money for the ticket, and so when it came time to leave, he packed a suitcase full of crackers, peanut butter and apples. Every day when the loudspeaker on the ship announced seating for dinner, he excused himself and went to his cabin to eat. On the last night of the voyage, the ship’s steward asked if he’d be joining them for the captain’s dinner. He sheepishly declined, and admitted he didn’t have enough money to pay for that kind of meal. Of course, he was surprised and sadly disappointed to discover all the meals were included in the price of the ticket! This poor vacationer had made do with meager sustenance, not realizing there was so much more available!
You know, most believers live their lives like this man. We foolishly labor hard and long to purchase for ourselves the spiritual equivalent of a plate of marshmallows, not realizing we’ve been offered a seat at the King’s table. The words of Isaiah remind us that God has provided all we will ever desire; We only need to accept His offer and allow Him to fill us with His nourishment. We don’t have to be satisfied with ‘less’ when He’s prepared a meal that promises to fulfill our souls for eternity. But, you’ll miss it if you’ve become accustomed to and are, for the moment, content to dine on spiritual twinkies.
So…. have you had a taste of what Jesus offers recently?
Do you want more?
Listen carefully to the voice of our Gentle Father. He says…
Have a seat. Dinner’s on the table.
I’m waiting for you.