Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Consuming Consumption

Have you ever not been hungry and ate more food anyways?  Welcome to my life.....Though I proudly trumpet my new found health and ever increasing rugged handsomness, I still struggle with unhealthy urges.  When those urges had more control of me I would often find myself eating well past being full.  My wife could always tell because when I overate I would have uncontrollable hiccups.  And the graceful woman that she is, she would always call me out. 

So why did I eat well beyond being full?

Because it made me feel good.

Even though it later made me feel bad......

Why do we over consume things?  Because they are filling in for something else.  We are a materialistic consumer driven culture.  And we are all victims of it.  Even the way grocery stores are arranged is to best induce you into buying more stuff....because you THINK you need it.  I just read about how even funeral homes put the most expensive caskets on the right hand side of the display room because almost every person turns right when they enter a room.

We consume, and consume, and consume.  Yet we never are satisfied.

The lie we have accepted and integrated into our lives is that we can go "get" something that will fill the gaping need we sense within ourselves.  We pursue things, people, money, sex, adventure, victories, etc, all in the desperate striving to finally feel ok.

Why are we like this? 

It is because we have objectified happiness and satisfaction.  Finite things and experiences have taken the place of objective truth and we treat these things as means to an end.  We feel no guilt about what we waste, whether people or things, because they have no greater value than what we wanted them to do for us for the moment that we wanted them.  When they lose their ability to bring us some sort of relief from the emptiness we toss them aside because they no longer have value.

In chapter 6 of the Gospel of John we have two great back to back stories.  First Jesus feeds 5,000 with some bread and some fish.  An amazing miracle that testifies to Jesus' divinity as well as supplying a real felt need(being hungry).  The crowd is excited about this Jesus fella and want to make Him King.  Since that is not why Jesus came to earth(to be an earthly king) He slips away and crosses the lake to another city. 

When the crowds figure out Jesus slipped away they follow after and confront Him, wanting more of the same, to which Jesus replies,

26 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”

In the face of an amazing miracle of Jesus, someone who they are beginning to recognize as not just any man, what do they want?  More food.....  Jesus then explains what He is really offering

35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

How do they respond to all of this?

41 At this the Jews there began to grumble about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?”

Do you get this?  When he was giving them "stuff" they were all about it.  When He told them to look past the stuff and just filling their "stomachs", they got grumpy.  They wanted full bellies when they were hungry, every time.....

There is a cycle of desperation and need seeking that we readily agree to accept.  We run from thing to thing when the need arises.  It has become as natural as breathing.  The pattern of allowing ourselves to get "starved" from what we really need followed by unhealthy binging so that we feel "ok" defines too much of our existence. 

Jesus came to not give you a meal to fill you up until you are desperate again.  He came to offer you hope and satisfaction that changes everything.  It changes the way we "need", the way we consume, the way we view people and things.  In Christ people and things are no longer objects existing to serve you.  Instead, they are beautiful gifts from a loving Father that deserve to be cherished, honored and enjoyed.  Not to control and drive you.  But to serve, and be served by, you.

Are you tired of the never ending cycle of starving and binging?  A pattern that never leaves you ultimately satisfied?  Stop looking to things that spoil.  Start looking to Christ.

No comments:

Post a Comment