Jamie always cooks dinner and often the family is ready to sit down to eat right when I arrive home. She prepares quite a spread. I would guess at least once a week, it is comparable to most Thanksgiving meals. I am not exaggerating.
In light of Jamie’s consistency and quality at dinnertime, I am ashamed to admit I have “nibbled” on candy driving home. (I’ve been known to keep a stash of Twizzlers in my glove box.) A half-cleared plate after a meal has, more than once, prompted the question from Jamie, “So what did you eat before dinner?”
Parents often use the phrase “Don’t spoil your appetite” with kids. That is a call for restraint to impatient children. The kids demand a quick fix to their “starvation”. Parents know a satisfying meal is just around the corner.
I have experienced more than the spoiling of my physical appetite. I can spoil my spiritual appetite, by indulging in similar behavior.
The Bible often uses sensate terms in describing our relationship with God. We are to thirst, hunger, and crave spiritual food. The Psalmist wrote, “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God” (42:2). Peter wrote how we are to “crave pure spiritual milk” and “abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul” (1 Peter 2:2 and 11). Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Mt. 5:6). Praise God for the spiritual food given to satisfy these appetites.
Appetite is an interesting thing. Healthy and unhealthy appetites can be fed. This can happen physically in healthy and unhealthy ways. Yesterday I was eating kettle-cooked, jalapeño chips, and with each chip I put in my mouth, my hunger was not abated, but fueled for more. I have also experienced stimulating healthy hungers.
This can happen spiritually in healthy and unhealthy ways. If I indulge in soul junk food, my appetite for Scripture is suppressed. On the other hand, I have found engagement in spiritual rhythms, can actually stimulate and deepen my hunger for more of God.
So here’s the question: where is your appetite? What are you craving? Is your hankering for spiritual things, for meeting with the living God, a little dull? Take the necessary steps to train your palate for what you know your soul is truly hungry for.