Over the past couple of years, we have made a lot of improvements to our eating habits. But, every now and then I seem to revert. For some reason, I slack off in my diligence and eat just for the sake of eating. I know the consequences, but for some reason I do it anyway.
Recently I had one of those weeks. I snacked on everything in sight, craving junk food of all sorts. Of course, I always felt miserable, was never satisfied, and never really felt hunger. When it came time to eat real (and balanced) meals, I wasn’t even hungry enough to enjoy them. I ate them because it was time to eat a meal.
It didn’t take long for me to have had enough. This is not how I am used to living anymore. I hate the miserable feeling. It’s just not worth it! So, I buckled down and re-established the diligence in meals and snacking. Immediately I felt better. I truly felt hungry at meal time and was able to enjoy each bite. I only snacked when I was truly hungry, and enjoyed the snacks so much more. Yes, diligence and discipline truly are worth it!
I think the same principle tends to apply spiritually. How frequently do we slack off in our diligence to maintain our spiritual nourishment in a nutritional manner? We begin to “snack” on spiritual junk food – things that fill our hearts and minds with the temporal instead of the eternal. Things that satisfy for a moment, but whose effects wear off quickly, leaving us hungry for more. It may be TV or the computer; a good romance novel or the latest movie craze; it may even be that we are using food to satisfy our emotional and spiritual needs.
Whether we need to be energized or calmed, it is so much easier to do so with earthly “junk food” than with the Word of God. So, we turn to these things, hoping they’ll meet the need. They might, for a time, but in the end we find ourselves still vying for that energy or peace. Our quick fix has left us bloated and sick, not satisfied.
In all areas of life, discipline is tough. Finding our fulfillment in the disciplines of prayer, praise, study, and diligence takes much more effort than finding a quick fix in temporal pleasures. But, the rewards are worthwhile. Will we continually chase after the quick fixes that only last a moment, or will we do what it takes to chase those rewards that leave us truly satisfied?