We know when it’s time to get dinner on the table – when our kids begin to scrounge. That’s what we call it: “The kids are scrounging.” Of course, it seems like they’re always rummaging around, scavenging for food, hiding under the table with a box of cereal, shoving it into their mouths by handfuls. They eat like Hobbits – breakfast, second-breakfast, elevensies, and on throughout the day. I promise you, we feed them. It feels like we are constantly feeding them.

And so I have in different words spoken the statement that every parent must: “You’re going to spoil your dinner.” Come by our house at 5pm and you will hear, “No you cannot have that chip or this piece of candy or another snack – we are eating in 20 minutes.” We’ve learned – if they scrounge too much, they won’t eat the food we want them to eat.

All of this counsel given to my children came home to me today as I read from A Hunger for God by John Piper. He writes:

If you don’t feel strong desires for the manifestation of the glory of God, it is not because you have drunk deeply and are satisfied. It is because you have nibbled so long at the table of the world. Your soul is stuffed with small things, and there is no room for the great. God did not create you for this. There is an appetite for God. And it can be awakened. I invite you to turn from the dulling effects of food and the dangers of idolatry, and to say with some simple fast: “This much, O God, I want you” (23).

There are days that I scrounge all day. Sometimes I fulfill all my longings and find my joy in food and sweets and good coffee. Or I look for rest and pleasure in my computer or a bit of television. I often feel the deep need to fill my ears with music. I rummage around, nibbling on countless things – mostly good, God-given things. But things that slowly crowd out and squelch my hunger for God. And so I don’t long for him like I should. I’m not hungry for what my soul truly desires and needs to eat. I have often spoiled my appetite for the glory of God by an incessant snacking on the world. And as full as I may be, I am not satisfied.

God has not only given us gifts to enjoy; he has given us gifts so that we can joyful abstain from them and allow our hearts to be satisfied with Him alone. So get out from under the table with the box of Cinnamon Life and seek satisfaction in the feast God has laid out for us in Jesus, the Bread of Life.