Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Year of Hunger

This post may be coming a little late amid thoughts of getting back to the grind of work and wondering if New Year’s resolutions will make it past the first week (I started mine back in the Christian New Year of Advent and they didn’t). If you can do me a favor though, remember back to the holidays especially if you had any of those multiple family Christmas dinner marathons that I remember from my early childhood. Remember that feeling of contentment and possibly even that painfully stuffed regret that comes when it hit you that you didn’t save room for Grandma’s special holiday desert. That desire not to move from the easy chair even when you have lost the remote, I am sure something good came on TV eventually. It is in times like this that it becomes hard to remember being hungry or thirsty for anything. What else could we possibly want when we are too full to think about what we might want to eat next week let alone for the next meal. 

As you may still be recovering from those meals or the first time back to the gym since you broke your New Year’s resolutions from last year I would encourage you to allow this year to be a year of hunger and thirst in your life. Too often we seek after that feeling of being completely content, and when we have the resources that many of us do it is something that is easy to obtain, at least until our favorite teams loses and we throw something at the TV. The problem is that when we are physically content or when we have zoned out to a TV show and let our brain shut down we stop caring. When we are content emotionally, mentally, or physically we stop challenging ourselves, we stop looking for solutions to problems that used to bother us both in our lives and the lives of others. We not only no longer care about changing the world, we don’t even care about our neighbors or the food drive at church. For us Christians, it is at this point that we should realize that we have lost our view of heaven and our thirst for God’s presence in the world.

This year allow yourself to be thirsty for something besides a Diet Coke. Don’t allow your mind to be satisfied with watching a TV show in order to sooth yourself after watching the evening news. Let us hunger after something besides placating our own desires. Here are some ideas for making this year a little different than the last one. Try fasting once a week in order to keep your hunger for helping the poverty stricken. Find someone outside of your family to really spend some time helping in order to keep your heart soft to the world and its problems. Read more world news or books that you know will disturb your sense of justice to keep you thirsty for a better world. When we become content with the way the world is and we no longer see a need for it to improve or for us to personally do anything to improve it we know we have lost some of our hunger and thirst for something greater. Regain your hunger and don’t be afraid to thirst for something better. 

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