I’m starving. Despite the fact that I detest New Year’s Resolutions, I’ve put myself on a diet. During the holidays, I noshed on snickerdoodles, gingerbread men, pecan pie, cornbread dressing, chicken and dumplings, fudge, eggnog and just about every other delectable holiday treat you can think of. And now, I can’t fit into my clothes.
I started the diet on Monday. I made it to 4:00. Munch, munch. Crunch, crunch. Carrots and celery sticks, all day long. Then I came home after a long day with seventh graders and finished off the banana pudding and the potato casserole.
But hey, Tuesday was a new day, and I made it through the day without eating anything good. without eating anything bad for me.
Today was another “good” day, if you don’t count the four french fries I stole from my son’s Happy Meal. Honestly, though. I needed something with a little fat and grease. I know celery sticks are good for me, but they just leave me hungry.
I keep reminding myself that hungry is a good thing, when you’re trying to lose weight. Especially when you’re trying to lose weight fast. I think I’ve gotten so used to feeling full, I don’t have any idea what real hunger is, and at the first sign of a growl, I reach for whatever I can find to fill me back up. And usually, what I reach for first is not a celery stick.
But when I do that, I deprive my body of the good things that fresh fruit and vegetables offer. Though they may not fill me up as quickly, the nutrition I get from apples and broccoli, lean meats and whole grains will stay with me much longer than those french fries. The junk is an easy fix to my temporary hunger, but in the end it just weighs me down and makes me uncomfortable.
If I’ll just let my body get a little bit hungry for a while, I know I’ll feel better. I’ll look better, and I’ll fit into my clothes better. But that takes work. It takes discipline. Most days, I’d rather take the easy way, even when I know the results won’t be pleasant.
The same is true for my spirit. I get hungry for . . . something, and I reach for the easiest, quickest, tastiest thing I can find. I fill my mind with meaningless, nutritionless television sit-coms, with wasted hours on the internet, and with whatever else can fill my time and make me forget about the emptiness inside.
When I do that, I deprive myself of the peaceful, settled feeling that only God can offer. Sure, the television is quick and easy. But when I turn off CSI or the Gilmore Girls rerun, I still feel empty inside.
I need to let myself feel a little bit hungry, so God can fill me with His goodness. I need to empty myself of all the junk so He can perform a deep cleansing on my soul. But that’s hard. And we’ve already established that I’m not into hard.
Though that may be a little harder in the beginning, I know the results will bring me much greater satisfaction.
“For He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things,” Psalm 107:9.