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The Hunger Games

“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” ~John 6:35 

“Blessed [are] they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” ~Mat 5:6

You can tell what people are hungry for by watching what they spend their time waiting for, what they spend their time doing and what they spend their time talking about.

I know people who spend every second of their day playing video games. When they’re not playing, they’re talking about playing or planning when to get back to their games so they can play some more. Why do they do that? Escape is what they’re hungry for.

I know other people who talk non-stop about their jobs…they recount every second of their day, they talk plans and strategies, all of their thoughts revolve around their work. Why? Success is what they’re hungry for.

There are folks who obsess over what other people think about them. They plan everything they do and everywhere they go based on what other people will say or how others will react. They do this because they’re hungry for the approval and acceptance of those people.

I’ve even known people who spend every minute thinking about how to fix other people. These folks are constantly devising plans to change other people, programs to put them on to “improve” them, and exercises to run them through to test them. They run around trying to counsel others and give advice for them to change. Why do they spend so much time and energy on these things? Because they’re hungry for control.

Figuring out what people are really hungry for is kind of like driving by a strip of restaurants on a Friday night and seeing all the people standing outside waiting for a table. Some people are hungry for steak, some for seafood, some for Mexican… you can tell what they’re hungry for by seeing where they are and how long they’re willing to wait for their meal. Same principle with people in every day life… what do they hang around? What are they willing to wait long hours for? What do they talk about and plan about throughout the week?

What are you hungry for? It’s Easter Sunday, so you might be hungry for ham or chocolate rabbits, but what else? Do you really hunger after people’s approval or acceptance? Or are you  hungry for a new house or car? A nice long vacation to the beach? Do you hunger after a promotion on your job or a new relationship? Success? Fame? Belonging? Validation?

I know the religious answer we all want to give to this question is: I am hungry for more of God in my life. We want to say that, and many of us probably really want to mean that… but do we? Do we spend more time thinking about Him and His Kingdom than we do about our own success or pleasure? Do we spend time doing the things that He has called us to do, or do we give the majority of our time to the things our flesh hungers for? Can people around us tell that we are more hungry for God than we are for our dinner out this Friday night?

Jesus made it pretty simple; if we hunger after Him, His Kingdom, and His righteousness, then we would be filled with those things. If we seek His Kingdom, He will take care of all of our needs. It seems pretty obvious to me that so many of us are running around, seeking fulfillment in our lives, because we are more hungry for other things than we are for Him. We say we’re hungry for Him, but our actions show otherwise. We’re playing a game.

You’ve probably heard about the smash movie hit, The Hunger Games, playing in theaters right now. The movie is based on the best-selling series of the same name written by Suzanne Collins. It’s a post-apocalyptic sci-fi story in which the lead character has to fight others to the death in order to survive and win a food prize for her community. There’s more to it than that, but the story got me thinking… how hungry am I, really, for God? Am I hungry enough to fight for what I believe in? Am I hungry enough to sacrifice my own desires and dreams? Am I really hungry enough to fight for others around me? Or am I just playing a game, saying things one way and behaving another way.

Think about it as you go through your week this week…

(image from thehungergames.wikia.com via Google)
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