Have you ever thought about your vocabulary? You know, the number and type of words you use to communicate regularly...
What about the vocabulary of your actions? What are the things you do saying?
I have thought about these two things a few times. You know, what am I saying? What am I doing? How are those things communicating to other people and what am I saying about myself?
But I have never thought about the vocabulary of my appetites. In fact, I never really thought about what my appetites are until I started listening to a new series of sermons from North Point Community Church in Atlanta (aka Andy Stanley's church).
Aside from the appetites that we all know, the one for food and drink, I have begun to realize the appetites that are or have been in my life. There have been appetites for achievement, social acceptance, money, companionship, food, more food, and the list goes on.
At different times in my life, those appetites have tried to, and sometimes succeeded, rule me. And mainly this is because I didn't understand that appetites have something to say. A vocabulary. Theirs is a one word vocabulary...
Think about it. Think about an appetite or desire you have. Something that you find yourself involved with, preoccupied with, or controlled by. When you feed that appetite, even gorge it and fill it to the gills, does it go away? Maybe for a short time, but it comes back soon enough saying that one word...
Eating has been one of those appetites that kept yelling at me, "More! More!" for most of my life. It still yells at me now but its voice is small and muffled and more easily ignored.
There are 2 things that I go back to in getting this appetite under control: focus on a future me and dependence on a loving God.
I looked ahead and said, what is the future that I want for me and my family? Who do I want to be? This isn't the "I'm going off to college and need to figure out what I want to be when I grow up" kind of question. This is deeper and has a lot less to do with what I do and everything to do with who I am. I decided that being a strong and healthy man would allow me to be the best husband, father, and leader for my family that I could be. I focused on those goals more than I focus on the near term, and fleeting, satisfaction of giving in to the cries of "More!"...
But I couldn't do it by just steeling my resolve and saying "No more!" It's not that easy. In fighting with the appetites I've learned that my resolve can be easily undermined or worn down. This time, I turned to God as I always should have. I am leaning on Him for strength, for resolve, for encouragement. And, most of all, for a clear vision of the man I am supposed to be. Who better than my creator, and the creator of everything, to have the correct and clear vision of my future.
So, instead of yelling back at the appetites when they scream "More!" or asking God to kill my desires. I know ask God to give me the strength to stand firm and for another glimpse at the future me.
It has made all the difference...
And this week, the difference is:
A little better than last week. A little slower than the pace I had been on. A little more towards the future.
By the way, I'm still working on raising money for Love146.org as a part of "210 in 2010" and could really use your support. Even $1 helps as we move closer to unlocking the matching funds. If you can help, leave a comment, email me (firstname.lastname@example.org), or hit me on facebook or twitter.
Photo credit to rich115.