Sunday, August 2, 2009

Hunger? or Thirst?

This appears to be a sort of roadhouse/bar; we found it on the road between Rubicon and Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. It was a very hot day (as it is here, now, though nothing compared to what my husband is encountering as he wanders across the deserts of Arizona and New Mexico on his motorcycle) and when I saw it, it didn't make me think of being shipwrecked, it just made me think of cold drinks.

... which brings me to an interesting question I was asked during a coffee gathering after church this morning. The sermon topic centered around "I am the bread of life," which intrigued me, given that I seem to have been blogging a lot lately about various kinds of hungers and longings, and someone asked "what's the difference between hungering for something and thirsting for something?"

I liked V's answer; she said that she felt hunger "here," pointing to her chest cavity and her heart, but that thirst was a sort of whole body thing, because the skin can long for liquid, too; it benefits exterior as well as interior. Certainly when the weather is unseasonably hot, food cravings tend to take a back seat -- for me, at least -- and thirst becomes a dominant sensation. But at some point drinking water isn't enough to satisfy -- or so I found, sitting at a park playground watching my houseguests' children running around on the forts and swings -- and I had to say "I can't take any more; I need to go home" -- because really what I wanted was to jump into a pool, or a cold shower; drinking water was no longer working to cool me down.

So what does that tell us about "He who comes to me shall not hunger; he who believes in me shall not thirst?" I'm thinking thirst is a bigger, more debilitating feeling than hunger; maybe hunger is for things we want and thirst is for things we NEED? Certainly the times I have most felt the spirit moving have all felt more like standing under a waterfall than eating a piece of bread...

So maybe it's not enough to just "come to Jesus;" to show up, check it out, check in, get with the program. Maybe that's just going to give you what you want from Jesus, or from the church experience, but you won't get that really satisfying stuff that you NEED -- the stuff you may not even KNOW that you need, the sighs too deep for words -- until you actually BELIEVE. But what does it mean to believe?

I think it's a good question. But quite frankly I'm too dehydrated right now to explore what answers might look like. I'm feeling a little shipwrecked, wasted, on the rocks from all that heat, so I'll just leave it for you to ponder: your turn to speak up! I'm going to go pull down the shades and settle into my favorite rocker with a cold energy drink and tank up -- and then, if I still need it, I'll head for that cold shower. Does that mean I'm gonna do some belief work?

Ya sure, you betcha!

No comments: