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Appetite or Hunger?

God, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing. You have bedded me down in lush meadows, you find me quiet pools to drink from. True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction. (Psalm 23:1-3)

I don't need a thing - how many of us can speak those words with our heart bearing full and total agreement with them? Most of us will give lip service to the idea, but deep down inside we desire things we don't have, look for ways to acquire what we think we 'need', and are always on the search for 'more' of something, aren't we? Our desires stem from what we feed the most - it creates an appetite within us for what we desire. If you had never tasted chocolate in your lifetime, you likely don't have any type of craving for it. Indulge yourself with a couple of pieces of rich chocolate and that 'taste' will create a desire for more. Why? Appetite has more to do with our thinking than it does the need to correct an imbalance of some vital nutrient within our bodies. Hunger is purely 'biological' - we need to raise our blood glucose, so we feel the pangs of hunger to replenish that necessary resource. Appetite is actually our 'relationship' with what we take in - we form habits based upon our appetite.

What do you find 'pleasure' in these days? As I entered into retirement, I thought I would miss the hustle and bustle of a daily work life. Actually, quite the opposite is true. I have come to enjoy not making plans for my day - just rising, observing the weather, feeling the desires I may have to create something new, and then heading out to the workshop for a little 'wood fun'. I also enjoy the spontaneous text from my BFF that asks if I want to go with her to the store, explore the thrift shops, or go over to her sister's house for a bite to eat. There is something different in the 'pleasures' I experience in retirement than there were during my working years. Have my desires changed? You might think so, but those desires have always been there. I have always wanted to create with my hands - so workshop time has always been a craving. I have always desired to find a good bargain - so thrift shop trolling is a fun pastime for me. I just have the time to do these things more frequently now - not having to cram them all into one weekend!

If you feed the desires God places deep within your soul - mind, will, and emotions - you will find your desires grow (your appetite changes to desire more of those things). Feed your body fruits and veggies often enough and you will actually crave them. Feed it cookies, donuts, and salty snacks and see how those cravings begin to direct your food choices when hungry. Feed your spirit the Word of God and you will begin to understand its content. Feed your spirit with times of worship and praise and your desire to spend time with Jesus just might increase. You are what you eat - we have probably all heard that one before. If what we 'take in' the most often is what we desire the most (becoming what makes up our appetites), then it stands to reason that if we feed upon the Word, spend time worshiping at his feet, and actually begin to pour out our thoughts and desires before him, those desires just might change for the better! Just sayin!


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