What Are You Hungry For?
Excerpt from Psalm 42
“As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God.
Reflection by Martin B. Copenhaver
You pad into the kitchen, go directly to the refrigerator, open the door and peer inside. You are vaguely hungry, but you can’t tell exactly what you are hungry for. You survey the options: Cold sausage pizza? No, that’s not it. Leftover salad? That’s not quite it. You take a bite of strawberry yogurt, but put it back on the shelf. The refrigerator is full enough, and your stomach is empty enough, but nothing seems exactly right.
Suddenly, it’s as if you hear the voice of your mother reminding you,”Don’t leave the refrigerator door open.” So you close the door and wait for the voice to fade. Then you open the refrigerator again, lean on the door and stare blankly at the options, hoping that one will finally beckon.
It seems to me that many of us spend our lives like that, with indistinct longings that we are not sure how to satisfy. We yearn for something and know not what. We may try a bit of this and that for a time, perhaps only in our imaginations, but nothing is quite right or enough to satisfy. Someone described the people of our age as “those who don’t know what they want from life and don’t get it.”
The Psalmist cries, “As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God.” Could it be that all of us long to have a relationship with God, but that much of the time we don’t recognize that that is what we were hungry for all along?
Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me. Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me. Amen.
About the Author
Martin B. Copenhaver is Senior Pastor, Wellesley Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, Wellesley, Massachusetts. His new book, This Odd and Wondrous Calling: the Public and Private Lives of Two Ministers, co-authored with Lillian Daniel, has just been published.
Live simply. Love generously.
Care deeply. Speak kindly.
Leave the rest to God.
“The Lord sets the prisoners free; the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the strangers; [the Lord] upholds the orphan and the widow.”
– Psalm 146:7-9
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