Occasionally the school kitchen managed to serve something tasty. Thanksgiving was always a favorite time, as we had turkey gravy and mashed potatoes. This is where my positive memories cease. Far too often my lunch tray was heaped with the likes of tasteless, rubbery macaroni and cheese, served with a side of slimy canned spinach. I vowed at a very young age that I would never force my children to eat school lunch.
Fast forward to parenting days...In the midst of the drudgery of lunch-making I sometimes regretted my resolve. Most days I managed to pack healthy lunches. They were nothing fancy, but normally included a sandwich, fruit and homemade cookies.
"Mom, why can't we have lunches like all the other kids?" they complained. At the end of one school year I relented (partially due to lunch-packing fatigue). On the last day of school I heaped those bags with every manner of refined, sugary junk I could find. By the end of the day they were miserable. It was a lesson for us all.
"Starving in a Land of Plenty"
In my half-waking state, the words of Amos 8:11 came to mind...
a famine on the land--not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water,
but of hearing the words of the Lord."
My famine is largely self-imposed. The Lord has shown me that I have been 'Starving in a Land of Plenty.' Forgive me, Lord! The great Scottish Bible expositor Alexander MacLaren once wrote:
Christ puts the key of the treasure-chamber into our hand,
and bids us take all that we want.
If a man is admitted into bullion vault of a bank and told to help himself,
and comes out with one cent, whose fault is it that he is poor?"
It is a matter of life and death!
Without physical nourishment I will eventually die. The same is true spiritually. Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 8:3
"Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes
from the mouth of God."
Jesus is the Bread of Life. Without a steady diet of His Word I will grow weak, putting my faith in grave danger! Remember, "FAITH COMES BY HEARING AND HEARING BY THE WORD OF GOD! " No wonder my faith has faltered! The enemy of my soul knows it is far easier for me to settle for a diet of mindless frivolity. His offerings are endless. If I resist him He will flee!
Paul warns me NOT to be conformed to the world, but to be TRANSFORMED by the renewing of my mind. My calling is to be CONFORMED to the image of Christ! Time spent in the Word is time spent beholding JESUS! He IS the Living Word:
"...and we all with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord,
are BEING TRANSFORMED into the same image
from one degree of glory to another."
(2 Corinthians 3:18)
I want people to see JESUS when they see me!
to be ashamed, rightly handling the Word of truth."
(2 Timothy 2:15)
"The Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two edged sword,
piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow,
and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart."
Jeremiah 17:9 tells me that 'the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately sick.'
I dare not trust my own thoughts, but must test them against the truth of God's Word.
Moses, having received the Ten Commandments straight from the hand of God, knew the importance of the Word! On the last day of his life he sang to the people of Israel, recounting God's mighty works and faithfulness. When he had finished he said to them:
"Take to heart all the words by which I am warning you today,
that you may command them to your children,
that they may be careful to do all the words of this law.
For it is no empty word for you
BUT YOUR VERY LIFE!"