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What we’re hungry for

The scene plays itself out multiple times per day. One of my boys wanders into the kitchen and makes their way over to the fridge. With a solid yank, they swing the door open and stare into the chilled abyss. Ten seconds. Thirty seconds. A minute.

I begin to think they’re having a staredown with the kid on the milk carton, and so I ask “What are you doing?”

“Getting something to eat….”.

I can’t help but notice a fair amount of time has passed without them actually eating anything, so I suggest they shut the door until they decide what they want, lest Al Gore and his cronies sweep down on us and try and alleviate our carbon footprint by welding the fridge door shut. (Yes, I understand that by opening the fridge door we might actually be helping fight global warming, but I don’t think it works that way…).

The child at the fridge protests “But I’m hungry. I just don’t know what for….”.

For you non-parents, this is the place where arguing is futile. They’re hungry, but filling their hungry involves a shopping trip of sorts in the fridge. They must view all options. They must poke into leftover cartons, examine ingredients, and weigh options before announcing “There’s nothing to eat in here.”

At this point, all readers are either incredulous or nodding in agreement, depending on your life station. I couldn’t have imagined the consistency of this phenomenon without having it lived out in front of me…and now I see it multiple times a day.

There’s something to be said for knowing what you want….but sometimes, we don’t know any more than our kids. In the spiritual sense, there is a very real gnawing more banal than knowing. It leads to a very holy frustration…wanting an encounter or a word from God but not even knowing what that word might be. Like the teenager who discovers the last piece of pizza on the back shelf behind the jelly jar, you’ll know it when you see it, and when you see it, you won’t want anything else. In the meantime, all you have is wanting.

John the Baptist could not be accused of being unfocused. Having eschewed his father’s priestly trappings for an outdoor ministry, turning down both the vestments at the privileges that came with them, John was a man of action who went after what he wanted – first hand knowledge of the coming deliverer…yet his pursuit preceded any real knowing of what he was looking for.

John 1:31 says “I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.”

This one-liner holds a stark admission on John’s part. “Guys, I was hard core preaching and calling people to repent because I knew there was more…..but I didn’t know who was more at the time. I see Him now. Now I know what I’ve been hungry for all this time.”

John found what he was looking for because he was willing to act on his hunger. Even without having clarity on his part as to who he was looking for, he knew there had to be more….and he went after the more until The One was revealed.

I went to sleep last night wanting more. Right before bedtime, I actually twittered “I am facing this year with an overwhelming sense of anticipation. Eager to fall asleep and dream. Eager to wake up and live.”

I laid in bed and poured out my heart to God. I wish I could tell you that it was laser focused…it wasn’t. I have an aching I don’t have language for. Deep calls to deep both ways, and we were in upload mode last night.

Around 2am, I woke with a start out of a deep sleep dream. Without going into the details – they’re personal and frankly, not pertinent to my point here – I’d heard from God in a clear way…in a way I wouldn’t even have known to ask Him to speak.

I once told a friend that the world’s most dangerous prayer is “God, reveal yourself to me….’. It’s also a great prayer to pray when you’re hungry and you’re not sure what you’re hungry for.

I hope you find what you’re hungry for today. And remember to shut the refrigerator door. Do you think we’re trying to air condition the world?!


6 Responses

  1. You have put into words how many of us feel….LOVE this!

  2. That’s exactly where we are at in this house! (Both on a spiritual and reality level when it comes to the fridge thing….)

    There is so much to learn from J the B. He’s my favorite. One of the best lines in the Bible – “He must become greater, I must become less.” Now there’s a believer’s prayer!

  3. Thanks for the word Randy! It greatly challenged and encouraged me!

  4. Great word. That ache is exciting and let’s me know there is more than meets the eye.

  5. Randy, great post! I had a good friend that actually did a test for a college class on people who mindlessly open the fridge door, stare in and then close it and move on. Some people didn’t even realize how much they did it, or that they did it at all shortly after. But my friend concluded in his study, that many times when people open the fridge door and stare into it, that they are actually seeking to feel a hunger for God that was placed there by Him. Thanks for the post!

  6. Great post…thanks!

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