Recently, I was house-sitting for someone, the house contained two dogs, a turtle, and a fish. As with all house sitting tales go with fish involved. The fish. Died.
Now, this wasn’t due to my neglect, I fed the fish, I watched the fish, I cared for the fish–I was worried about the fish. Every time I sprinkled the fish food on the surface of the water. There was no reaction. It just sat there fluttering its beta fins, staring into the middle distance. I started to worry as the little guy wasn’t seeming to eat.
Then it happened.
I went to check on him and offer him food.
And all the food in the world wouldn’t bring that fish back to life. It was then it struck me. How often in my spiritual walk do I feed on the word in my thought life, do I meditate on scripture and truth, or do I grab a scripture snack in the morning and expect it to hold me throughout the day. Or even have you been around a child and they eat something healthy and after chewing it they spit it back out. It makes me think of the scripture in James 1
22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
Is scripture actually a part of my life, does your heartache when it hasn’t been open as much or as long as you would want it to be or is it just that thing that you pick up in the morning and forget about it the moment you “start your day.” You munch on the life-giving word and then spit it back out and continue to chew on the wad of worldly wisdom. I would argue dear friend that your day is not started, it is not functional without Jesus Christ.
It also struck me how I can also be like the fish, the word of God is there every day, it is always within reach by phone, laptop, app, and yet do I reach for it. Is my first reaction to reach for nourishment? For the little fish, food was prepared, sprinkled, and made ready–but he never partook. If I never eat what He has prepared for me will I not also starve? Won’t my spiritual well-being be gaunt and lacking?
One of my prayers over the last few months has been Lord, give me the heartbeat of heaven, let my heartbeat and long for what you long for, let me ache in what grieves you, let me rejoice in what brings you joy, let me lean into You with every breath I take. Now, I not saying I walk this perfectly or I’ve learned how to completely tune out the world, but it’s been a place of thought and teaching my heart to crave something higher, to not just glance at the word but to gaze at it and keep my eyes fixed so I do not forget. I don’t want to forget, I don’t want to walk away from the word in the morning and pat my Bible and thank it for that sweet little verse that was nice. I desire fellowship with my Savior, a faithful conviction, a feast sampling that something more.
Dear friend is your soul starving or feasting, are you dying with spiritual starvation or are you feasting and flourishing?
Personal note, this dear friend is just as much an exhortation of conviction to myself as to you. I am not walking perfectly, I am still learning and I have so far to go. I am merely a pilgrim along your journey sharing a piece of my heart.