|Words from Will
Food that Endures
In yesterday's sermon I said we frequently consume the spiritual equivalent of jelly-filled pastries. If you need a context for that, read or listen to the attached sermon. What I was trying to say is that we often settle for the quick and easy, even when it comes to our connections with God, rather than what nourishes; what Jesus called, "food that endures" (John 6:27).
Food that endures is worth the effort. You take the time to taste the food because of the pleasure in the taste. The meal stays with you longer, as physical nourishment, but also mentally and emotionally - you are more appreciative of the time and skill that went into the preparation of it than you are of, say, a fast food burger.
Trouble is our diets have reversed. The treat of a Friday night burger at the drive-in has given way to the frequent burger from the drive-through and the regular home-cooked meals have become the occasional special treat.
I fear our spiritual diets have gone the same way. The pace of life, the countless diversions have all reduced the amount of time we give to sustaining our relationship with God. Some of you are good at carving out time for this; many of us have to make a concerted effort and until it becomes routine the effort is easily interrupted by the many other demands on our lives. When we do that, we're susceptible to any triviality about God that comes our way, the way a hungry person will grab whatever food is immediately available. This often leads to less than satisfying understandings of the God we know in Jesus Christ. Doesn't our relationship with Jesus deserve more than sugary substitutes? When he's offering bread from heaven, will we be satisfied with a bag of chips?
I encourage us to reorient our lives so that the norm is a steady diet of prayer and study (for those of you who are maximizers - some of my highest quality praying and reflecting I've done have been while jogging or riding my bike; plenty of people do so walking or stretching). Reorienting our lives helps us deal with the challenges that come our way because we're better able when we're properly nourished.
Seeking proper nourishment,