– Pastor Brandon’s article from the May 2017 Newsletter

“I’m full,” I think to myself as I look at the remains of dinner on my plate. I can’t eat anymore. I’m not even sure if it still tastes good because I’m so stuffed, but the food is there in front of me. So, for some reason, I take a bite. “I guess I won’t be having dessert because I’m just too full,” I lament as I take yet another bite. Once the plate is clear, I moan, “Oh, I ate too much.” Why did I do that? I know it wasn’t good for me. I know I didn’t need it. I didn’t even enjoy it, but I crammed it in anyway. Why, oh why, oh why?

As I examine myself and those around me, I see lives that are full. Our bellies are full, our homes are full, our schedules are full. Yet so many of us keep cramming in more. In his book In Search of Balance, Richard Swenson discusses one of most difficult challenges of our time. He describes it as “more and more of everything faster and faster.” I think that sums up our struggle fairly well, and I have to admit that I often fall right into the trap.

“If I could just do this or have that, life would be better,” we think. We want the latest and greatest. We consume it and move on to the next big thing. There is fullness galore. We fill up and cram in. We are full and we feel it in our gut. But, the problem is we are not satisfied. That’s it, right? That’s why I keep eating, I think. That’s why I cram it all in: I’m not really satisfied with this stuff.

The truth is that there is only one who can satisfy: the infinite, loving God who created us for relationship with him. Apart from him, there is emptiness, there is thirst that is never quenched, hunger that eats away at our souls. The problem is that I fill up my life with so much junk that it crowds out the one who can truly satisfy. “I don’t have time,” I think, as I continue to consume. I’m too busy to be still, to be quiet, to allow the giver of life to restore my soul. I shove in a little more. I know it’s not good for me. I know I don’t need it. I’m not really even enjoying it. I try to maintain the pace–more and more of everything faster and faster–but to what end?

Still, our creator lovingly calls out to us, invites us to come after him, to pursue him above all else. He declares, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty…the one who feeds on me will live because of me” (John 6:35, 56). What will we choose?

O God, you are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you,
my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land
where there is no water.

I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul will be satisfied
as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through
the watches of the night.
Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.
(Psalm 63:1-8)

Pastor Brandon