This piece originally appeared on Real Life Rebecca.
I’ve consumed an entire batch of cookies in one sitting. Probably more than once. I used to stress bake, and that’s a bad habit for someone who loves cookies but wants to be healthy. I’d bake, eat, and feel guilty and gross. My stuffed stomach prevented me from eating anything else for the rest of the day, so I justified my actions.
We are the microwave generation. I want what I want, and I want it now. I want to have my cake, eat all of it, and not gain any weight. I’ve been conditioned to expect quick answers and quick fixes; I’m annoyed if the internet on my smart phone is too slow for me to Wikipedia the backstory of Boba Fett in the middle of a conversation with a friend. I am entitled to instantly receive whatever I want.
The world caters to our inner tantrumming toddler. I took a sick day last week. If I wanted to, I could order any food, convince someone to Netflix and chill, and share every thought with the entire world, all without leaving my couch.
I don’t have the romantic relationship I want. But at least I can go on dates with guys from the internet who think I’m cute for a quick fix of validation. I don’t have the friendships I crave. But I can stalk “friends” online to feel connected and while projecting a perfect persona to impress them. I can numb anxiety, avoid pain, and fake interconnectedness all with the touch of a button.
What does this do to our souls?
When I’m full of chocolate chip cookies, I’m not hungry for anything that will actually benefit my body. When all of my impulses are satisfied, at least on the surface level, I don’t dig deep into those longings and find what will satisfy my soul.
This results in a deep entanglement with temporal pleasures, microwave relationships, and easy, unfulfilling interactions. There is no room for true hunger or thirst.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Matthew 5:6
Imagine standing in a room full of the purest, most refreshing water and finest foods, but you don’t even notice because you’re chugging syrupy beverages and chomping on fries.
God is with us. He is right here, and He will quench your deepest thirst and satiate your cravings. But we need to be hungry. We need to be thirsty.
Maybe we need to put away the cookies, literally and metaphorically, and remember what it feels like to be hungry. We can be filled with substantive food.
As the season of Lent begins, let’s taste and see that the Lord is good. Let’s take the time to fast our quick fixes and lean into our deepest hungers. There is true fulfillment on the other side.
My prayer for Lent:
Lord, untangle my heart from the chains of lesser loves. Give me the strength, courage, and fortitude to face my hunger pangs without numbing the pain. In your matchless grace, provide me with your powerful joy. Create in me a thirst for justice and righteousness than can only be quenched by you. You are unendingly glorious, magnificently gentle, and so very loving. We are eternally grateful. Thank you.