I must confess, I have a soft spot for certain types of junk food.
It’s in the best interests of my health that from time to time I stay off them for a period of time, before reintroducing them in the diet. I gotta say, one of the things I like is just the look of a large portion of chips (not fries) with a double beefburger (no cheese) and a large fizzy drink of some sort that in my mind gives me the impression that I’m about to tuck into something very fulfilling. That picture and how my mind works is far more filling than some of my more regular plates of food that I was given.
Reality was, however, that as filling as it was after I consumed it, a lot of that was down to my mind than what actually filled. Not only that, but as I subsequently discovered when I did a Daniel Fast, there are plenty of alternatives that are actually substantial meals. Not just filling in the sense of rubbing the tummy and giving that sigh of satisfaction. Filling in the sense of enriching and filling my body and giving me the impression I’ve just filled the tank to have another good go at this living business. What I consume considerably helps in getting the best out of me.
To be fair the fast food stuff didn’t really fill the engine of body with that sense of being ready to go on and do well in the living business. I was full, but not always full of the right stuff to get the best output from me unless that output was of the lavatorial nature.
In the larger scheme of things, however, as Jesus taught us from His activities after His baptism, there is more to being filled than the food we eat or liquids we drink. Being led by the Spirit to engage in a time of intimacy with the Father through fasting and prayer certainly left Jesus physically hungry, but also prepared – filled and energised – to take on the adversary and come victorious. The story of the early church is how people were filled with the Spirit to get on with the living business – praying, sharing, proclaiming, supporting and living out Kingdom realities under challenging circumstances. Their success was based on what they were filled with because inevitably whatever they were full of came out.
It’s easy to blame external factors for the problems we face. It’s easy, but not the complete story. It’s easy to say it’s someone else. It’s easy, but not the complete truth. Often in referring to the easy stuff it exposes whatever we’re full of – and often that might be full of junk. Whereas there is still the examples not just of the Bible times, but even today of people who acknowledge that they are full of junk and sometimes like to get some junk in, but have tasted and seen something far better, richer, heathier and filling without the junk. Despite their junk tendencies, they are not getting a better taste to hunger and thirst for the stuff that’s right. As they gorge themselves on these it means they fill themselves with something that will not just change their lives for the better, but change the lives of those they meet because whatever they are full of comes out.
That commitment to being filled with the right stuff, is worth the challenge.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden