Friday, November 02, 2007

Hungry and Needy

It is important to be present in every moment—to truly be there, not absent-minded or half-there because of distraction or worry. It’s easy to get that way because of a vague sense of being needy or bored or sick or fatigued, or a feeling that there somehow has to be more to life.

We do all kinds of things, trying to feel better, to fill up the emptiness. Eating too much is a feel-good activity that lots of us are into these days.

See this, for example, from a blog about overeating: "For some people, eating is a compulsion. Men and women of all ages force themselves to eat too much or too little, and suffer tremendous psychological pain when they do. Eating, body weight and image become an obsession that damages relationships and has serious medical consequences.

"Food addiction is a disorder characterized by preoccupation with food, the availability of food and the anticipation of pleasure from the ingestion of food."

But the good feelings don’t last, and that’s because only closeness to God gives that rich, satisfied feeling.

Overeating is not a sickness itself, but a symptom of sickness. The real sickness is isolation from God, a deeper-than-the-bones soul sickness. He satisfies “more than the richest feast.”

Psalm 63 says it well—David was in the wilderness, thirsty, lonely and needy:

O God, you are my God;
I earnestly search for you.
My soul thirsts for you;
my whole body longs for you
in this parched and weary land
where there is no water.
I have seen you in your sanctuary
and gazed upon your power and glory.
Your unfailing love is better than life itself;
how I praise you!
I will praise you as long as I live,
lifting up my hands to you in prayer.
You satisfy me more than the richest feast.
I will praise you with songs of joy.

I lie awake thinking of you,
meditating on you through the night.
Because you are my helper,
I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings.
I cling to you;
your strong right hand holds me securely.

The picture and quote come from ; the Bible passage is from

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