Confession… Sometimes, I feel empty. Hollow, even. There are moments when, amidst the hustle and bustle of a workday, I pause momentarily, and I feel the emptiness. It feels like a hole is in the middle of my heart.
My spirit wails, just as an infant so loudly and sincerely wails when it experiences discomfort. My soul grasps out at the air in an attempt to catch a wisp of comfort. Of calmness. Of peace.
The empty feeling doesn’t happen every day, at least I don’t think. But when I feel this way, I have learned to get still and listen to my spirit. And acknowledge that it is crying and empty and longs to be filled because I have been starving it.
I believe that many of us have the tendency to feed our starving spirits with junk food. There are so many forms of junk food—it’s amazing how long the list is when you stop to think…
-Taking a trip to the mall to buy new clothes or a new pair of shoes. We call this ‘Retail Therapy’.
– Pampering ourselves, getting a manicure/pedicure, or getting our hair done.
-Entertaining a man or woman we know is no good for us.
-We might indulge in a pint of ice cream, or alcohol, or Social Media, or reality television, or video games, or texting, or sex, or drugs, or gossip.
For some of us, our job is junk food too. We might unnecessarily throw ourselves into excessive hours and deadlines. Whether we like our job or not is irrelevant. I think we are more likely to indulge in things we enjoy. Some of us indulge in things we dislike, but I won’t even go there today.
Don’t get me wrong; there is nothing wrong with a pedicure or a new pair of shoes. I am not saying that these things are all bad. What I am saying is that these junk food ingestions are not substantive nutrition for your soul. Your soul cannot sustain itself off of a pair of freshly painted toes.
Oh, but don’t we try! Quick fixes are easy to find. Hour after hour, day after day—we reach for these things to fill us up when we feel empty. Our impressionable minds and fickle attention spans are the perfect petri dishes. And with the advent of smart phones, reality television, and social media, we stay plugged in. To junk.
Ask yourself and honestly answer: “How much junk do I ingest daily?” Now compare that to the amount of spiritual nutrition you ingest daily. Does one outweigh the other? Perhaps you need to tip your nutritional see-saw to the other side.
I am so grateful for our Heavenly Father. He gave me the precious gift of sensitivity. I get sick (figuratively) when I eat too much junk food. I get overwhelmed when I try to keep up with the world. And I always withdraw quietly. To Him. He comforts me and nourishes me. His food sustains me. He feeds my soul.
It is only after I quiet myself and acknowledge that there is emptiness in my heart that I know to turn to Him. I do this as often as needed. It took me a while to get comfortable with this process, but it is so important to stand before God and ask Him to meet you where you are. Just as a car must make frequent trips to a gas station, we must make frequent trips to our God and asked to be filled with His holy spirit.
The next time we feel inclined to eat the junk food of the world, let’s take a few moments to ask ourselves what’s going on inside. If there is a hole in your spirit, acknowledge it. You won’t crumble or wither away by being honest with yourself. God already knows the answer. After you acknowledge the emptiness, ask God to fill you with his sustaining love.
“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.” (John 6:35)