Monday, September 22, 2008

Hunger Pangs




My Mom's group is currently studying a DVD series entitled "Organic God". It isn't about how God would choose to shop locally at Farmer's Markets, or would choose foods without additives - although I do have a hunch that he would have. I just can't see God munching on a fruit roll-up. I think He'd just eat an actual piece of fruit.

No, this series is encouraging us to strip the toxins from our relationships with God. The toxins that can invade and taint our walks with God, thus restoring our relationship to the freshness that we desire.

Toxins? What? Well, I don't know what your toxins are, but mine are a bunch of nasty chemical's called "shoulds".

I should have an established quiet time every day. I should pray a certain way and have a really long and organized list to show for it. I should, I should, I should.

And, actually, I should . . . but not in the manufactured or contrived way that I can fall into just as easily as I blink.

The idea of praying for a spiritual hunger is prevalent throughout the series, and I must honestly say that this idea startled me a bit. I have indeed experienced a time in my life, prior to having my precious children, where I tore into the Bible and scribbled furiously in a journal every morning while planted at Newport Coffeehouse - my stop on the way to work at Trinity every day. I read and wrote and wrote and read and prayed and pondered and drank coffee, and discovered incredible nuggets about God that left me full up inside. I never prayed for spiritual hunger. It just . . . was. It was natural.

Times change and life phases change and with those changes come a shift in how we meet with God. Gone are the 60 minutes with Bible and journal and pen in a coffeehouse every morning. Arrived are the spits and hurried moments where God still graciously meets me. In these fractured and scattered attempts to seek Him, He continues to share with me the way He knows I learn best: in black and white.

So today, as the women shared together in small groups, I realized that perhaps I should be praying for a new spiritual hunger. Should - in a good way, rather than a pressured way. I want to. I'm not feeling obligated to, as if doing so is merely an errand to be checked off on a list of other random "to do's", but rather, I'd really like to see how God will respond to my asking this of Him for myself. And for George. And for the kids.

I realize that all too often when I need an escape or relaxation, I default to getting lost on the internet, in my blog, on facebook, or on-line newspapers. I default to another cup of coffee. I default to reading. I don't necessarily default to God when I need refreshment. And it's not that I want God to necessarily be the default . . . but I must wonder why He isn't even that for me on on a daily basis. Why do I not escape with Him? Even for five minutes?

I don't want a hit or miss relationship with God. I want true refreshment, where I can actually sit down and enjoy a meal, rather than settling for a quick snack while standing at the counter.

I would like to see God become my "go to" rather than my "resort to".

God is no spiritual rebound guy.

As my small group then pondered loving Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, He spoke to me. Clearly. A picture of a pumping heart entered the movie screen of my head. Not a red Valentine's Day heart. An actual beating human heart. Pumping blood throughout the body. And then. It slowed. And stopped. The body went cold. With the stopping of the heart, the soul vacated, the mind quit firing, and all strength was gone.

Yes, we should love the Lord our God with all of our being, and yet, for me, right now, God is saying, "Love me with your HEART. For if your HEART fails, all else fails. Without a beating HEART there is no soul, there is no mind, and there is no strength. Soul, mind, and strength leave the physical body when the HEART stops beating."

And this thought made me hungry. Hungry to rekindle my emotional relationship with the one God who gave His blood for me.

So, this is now my prayer for myself. And for the members of my family. And for my friends. I pray for a new spiritual hunger. A hunger which finds refreshment and fullness from deliberately seeking God, rather than merely resorting or defaulting to Him as an afterthought. A hunger which starts in the beating heart and pumps life giving blood to the rest of the body. It's a simple thought, really.




"Organic God. It's like falling in love all over again."

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