It’s been my experience through many years of working with children that, while they are sweet creatures created in the image of God, if you put the slightest bit of the wrong thing on their dinner plate, it can cause a hunger strike. Instantaneously. It doesn’t have to be touching anything else, but somehow the entire plate has become contaminated and hazardous waste.
I think the same is true often when we ask people in the church to get involved in small groups, Sunday school or even attending church. The picky eater syndrome raises its ugly head.
What do I mean? I mean I don’t think we as Christians are hungry enough to devour the word. I think that we have too often taken the Burger King “Have it your way” mentality to our own spiritual demise. It’s as if we are starving ourselves spiritually in a hunger strike because the corn touched the potatoes on our spiritual plate.
Often times as Christians, we take the “picky eater” approach to our spiritual growth. We head out to church, and we immediately begin the negotiation process of what it’s going to take to make us come back. We look “on our plate” so to speak and find that there are items that we didn’t order when we came in the door. “The kids are too noisy.” “They don’t have coffee.” “They do have coffee, but they drink it in the sanctuary.” “The drums are too loud.” “The hymns are old.” “Someone is making them uncomfortable.” “No one looks like me.” “They all send their kids to public school.” “They live in the dark ages.” Every detail of the church is so scrutinized that fault is found “on our plate” in every church. With that kind of scrutiny, no wonder.
In other cultures, I am told that Christians will walk miles to attend a worship service. They gather together and worship and praise and teach for hours. These people are hungry for the Word. They will do what is necessary to be filled. They will overlook the imperfections of this world to experience the Perfect presence of the Almighty. And they are filled.
Imagine if western Christians came to church with this hunger.
I know personally that I am hungry. I am hungry for food. not milk. not rice cereal. I need a spiritual steak. I need some really protein rich foods to sustain my spiritual workouts that I face each week in my family, community and ministry.
“Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” – Jesus