We have a saying here in Italy: Appetite comes with eating. (L’appetito vien mangiando.) After long illnesses or prolonged fasts people lose their appetite and have to learn to like food again. Their stomach shrinks and they have little desire to eat.

And we lose our spiritual appetite in the same way.

The less time we spend in God’s Word, the less we feel a need for it. The more often we skip time in prayer, the less we feel drawn to it.

We convince ourselves (even subconsciously) that we’re getting along just fine without them. When in reality, we are heading toward spiritual malnutrition.

And the same thing happens when we start doing these things merely out of habit.

For too many years, I read a daily chapter, then mumbled a prayer. Doing it because I was supposed to. But it was lifeless because I was really just rushing to get it done and check it off my list.

Partly because I had never been a morning person. But mostly because I stayed up too late reading, on internet, or watching movies. And getting up late, meant racing to get everything done. I raced to get the house straightened, raced to get lunch ready. And even raced through my quiet time.

Until one morning Psalm 63:1 gripped my soul. “My soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water,” Psalm 63:1. 

That’s me, I thought. It’s talking about it me. I was dry and weary spiritually, in need of life-giving water. God seemed far away, and I had lost my joy and peace.

It happens to most of us sooner or later, I think. But what do we do about it?

Often, we do just what I was doing. First we try not to think about it, convincing ourselves it’s really not that bad. And second we think (or at least hope) that things will somehow straighten themselves out.

Maybe God will grant us some great mystical experience, or life-changing miraculous happening. Surely things will change — somehow — someday. We just need to give it time.

But we could sit and wait all our lives, hiding our heads in the sand over our spiritual condition.

When it really boils down to making right choices.

My life presents a different picture now. As the sun peeks out over the horizon, the sound of tractors fills the air. Farmers shout out greetings as the roosters crow. And I’m already in my corner, keeping my time with God.

Gone is the morning rush. The harried feeling of not having enough time. And the guilt over not doing the things I should. I have the peace of knowing that all is right in my world.

It’s not that I was leading a sinful lifestyle before, or doing bad things in and of themselves. But they were keeping me from better things. Making God seem far away, and my soul dry.

No mystical experience ever came. I suppose God could have done something like destroying our TV with a lightening bolt. But why should he, when all I had to do was hit the off button?

And probably had the TV been destroyed, we would have just replaced it anyway. I needed to get to the root of the problem. And it wasn’t the TV, the books, or the computer.

The real problem was my lack of self-control and commitment.

What I learned is this. We need the Lord’s help to change. But he expects us to do our part too. He’s not going to reach down and switch our TV off.

It comes down to choices. We can choose TV, internet, social media, reading, shopping, sleeping in, or whatever… Or we can choose to become serious about deepening our walk.

No one else can do this for us. Just as no one else will pay the consequences, or fully reap the benefits of the choices we make.

What do you choose? And what things have you laid aside for your spiritual growth? Or what will you choose today?

“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water,” Psalm 63:1.

[Image ©SheilaScorziello.com]

10 thoughts on “Quenching Our Thirsty Soul

  1. This is so very true! It is so easy to blame circumstances or allow ourselves to be too busy, when it is all about choices. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Thank YOU Tom! You’re always such an encouragement! And especially because you do what you say. I greatly admire your steadfast commitment in posting your daily reflections on your blog. How many years has it been now?

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  3. Thank you for the kind words. I wish I could say I always do what I say. I do struggle in some areas. And I have learned that what I talk about, Satan tries to attack me in. It is always a growing and learning process, trusting in God’s grace.
    I have been doing my blog since 2014. I’m amazed at how many like and follow it. It is a challenge at times also to keep it up daily. But God is giving me strength.

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  4. I know when I need to “be still and listen” because my joy gets lost in the everyday shuffle of “being busy” – As it says in Nehemiah 8:10: “Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” When my strength is failing me, and my awareness of my Heavenly Father’s presence is not as acute, my joy diminishes. All that is required of me is to gratefully bask in His loving presence. Our God is so patient and kind with us!
    Thank you, Sheila, for sharing your inspiring words and your loving heart with us in your posts.

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  5. Well Tom, thou art only human! But wow – you have been posting daily since 2014? That is amazing! And I admire your constancy. And it is true about Satan attacking in those areas. I’ve seen it through blogging and Mario says the same about preaching. But his is a lost battle. Keep up the good work!

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  6. Most of the time for me the choices are about my own conveniences or plans, forgetting I have asked my heavenly Father to order my day, then not listening and following when He nudges me.

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  7. Yep that gets me into trouble all the time too! I find it easy to run ahead of him. He’s teaching me to slow down, wait, and follow the footsteps AS he reveals them! After all walking with him is really more about BEING than doing!!

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