Monday, October 14, 2013

A Hunger

Hunger...A word that takes on several meanings for me:  So...Just to be clear...I again, am turning to Websters for the actual definition(s) for the word.  Here is how Webster's defines it:

a: a craving or urgent need for food or a specific nutrient
b: an uneasy sensation occasioned by the lack of food
c: a weakened condition brought about by prolonged lack of food
: a strong desire : craving<a hunger for success>
A couple of Sunday's ago...One of our ministers preached about one of the Beatitudes...Specifically...the following...
"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied" Matthew 5:6
The sermon made me think about the word HUNGER in context to my Journey. 
Of course...I immediately associated it with Food!!! Duh!!!  Given that I struggle with an addiction to food...there are many times that I have what I would deem as "False Hunger"...a sensation of feeling like I need food to fill an emptiness...a void.  As most of you that have bravely kept up with my Journey so far know...I battle this kind of Hunger frequently. 
As I listened to the sermon...It occurred to me that I do not know real hunger in the physical sense...I have never had to go without food for long periods...or not have enough food to meet my physical needs.  Sure...I have felt..."Hungry"...before...but I have never had a true Hunger for food!
As I read the above definition I realized that Definition #2....A STRONG the context in which I often experience Hunger. 
In some ways..the word Hunger has a negative connotation for me...It represents the absence of something that I think I need...that I crave!  The negative part is that at times, what I crave and how I choose to meet those needs.  As I take this of the biggest lessons for me to learn and experience is how to manage unhealthy unhealthy Hunger (False Hunger)...most of these unhealthy things come in the form of food for me...Not all...but most!  So this last year+ has been about learning to distinguish between the False Hunger and determine if what I am craving is reality or just a mask for what I really need.
It is challenging!  My entire life food has been a cure all...A soother of pain, a reward for good deeds, a distraction from stress, an escape, a form of Ace in the Hole!  If all else fails...EAT!!!
It is an uncomfortable truth for most of you know...and purging that here (regularly) feels like a slow healing process from something that I am embarrassed by...a weakness, a character flaw! 
BUT..there is good news for me...I think it is working...The healing process that is...
It is still a battle AND I am acutely aware that there have been several not so subtle God "notes" for me lately that insist that I embrace the idea of "loving" myself through this process. 
I made a recent proclamation that I wanted to be a "Champion of Love"...but I never mentioned "loving" myself.  That is probably not too surprising...though I can at times, be confident in who I am and what I stand for...there is that critical part..that voice that is arrogant to proclaim a love for myself...a selfishness....
I am learning the distinction between a selfish love and a healthy self respect..and I think that it is no coincidence that God has seen fit to place others in my life that DO have an understanding of the importance of having a healthy love for oneself...those that understand that by believing in who we are as individuals and loving who we are allows us to be better people.  It opens our hearts...clears the way for a healthy, successful life. 
I am learning that self love...does not mean self promotion...or self righteousness...I am learning that by clearing the negativity out of my life (my head) that I open the door to truly grasping the kind of Love I want to Champion...the purity of the Love that I receive from God. 
I am learning by accepting who I am is honoring of who God wants me to be...How He wants me to thrive and how He wants me to live. 
Quieting that negative voice in my head will be my toughest battle...It will be the most difficult "Fig Leaf" to shed...But I AM LEARNING...and most importantly, I am Willing to Learn...Willing to put that in writing...:)
So back to Hunger...
As this Journey prayers is that my False Hunger diminishes and that my Hunger instead turns to a Hunger for ALL that God Promises.  I want to Crave that kind of Love...even for myself.  I Hunger for that kind of Victory...
The below quote was a part of that same sermon that started all of the above thoughts...I loved it and wanted to share it with all of you!

"You are blessed when you work up a good appetite for God.  His Food and His Strength is the best meal you will ever eat."  ~Eugene Peterson



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