I wasn’t hungry, but I was making tacos anyway. It was time to eat. I knew that I needed to eat regardless of having an appetite or not. As I was cooking I remembered a question that a friend of mine asked me at least once a week last semester. “How do you know when your hungry?” Truthfully I always thought it was kind of a strange question. Everyone knows the answer. You are hungry when you are hungry… and that’s that. Or so I thought.
But today was different. It was time to eat but I didn’t feel hungry. There was nothing that I did to spoil my appetite this afternoon. I simply did not feel the need for food. For a moment I considered not eating. After all, if I wasn’t feeling hungry then why eat? I ended up eating despite my lack of hunger because I knew I would need the sustenance to get through tonight’s Urinetown rehearsal.
I have a point I promise! Just read on!
When my friend asked the question “How do you know when you are hungry?” he was talking about physical hunger… But this got my mind spinning. As I pondered the different kinds of hunger I thought of spiritual hunger. How do you know if you are spiritually hungry? If it’s possible to not know when you are physically hungry then wouldn’t it also be possible to not know you are spiritually hungry?
Think about a day where you skipped a meal because of your schedule. There were many days in college, especially during exams, where I would unintentionally miss a meal. Usually it was because I was so hyped up on coffee and studying that my mind blinded itself to the reality that I needed food to survive. But the actuality was that I needed food more in my intense studying than in normal life.
The following is my theory. (I’m sure you have all been eagerly awaiting this! ha!) Many people have a spiritual hunger and don’t even realize it. They have gotten so used to the sensation of being hungry that they are no longer aware of the feeling. If it can happen in the physical since then I think that it is only reasonable to think it applies to the spiritual part of us too.
Level-headedness suggests that food, real physical food, is all we need… This simply is not the case. Jesus said in Luke 4:4 that “man shall not live by bread alone.” Furthermore in John 6:35 he says “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger…” Whether or not you believe in the Bible, you must agree that humans usually long for something more than what this life offers… We at least long for something better. But often, better things never seem to come. As a result we get bitter, depressed, angry ect. As I examine my life, the times when I recognize my spiritual hunger and eat, are the times when I sense joy and fulfillment. It’s safe to say that realizing spiritual hunger is not quite so simple as physical hunger but it is equally important for your health and quality of life.
It doesn’t really matter how you know if you are hungry (at least in the spiritual since). If you haven’t eaten in a while then you are hungry! Plain and simple! So why not eat? It can’t do any harm.