As we more intentionally engage in giving thanks this week, I challenge my readers to approach the crowded kitchen, the aromatic outdoor turkey fryer, the bustling dining room table with this mindset:
Slow down. Be present for each savory bite. Listen and ingest the voices and stories that family and friends are sharing. This feasting season, consider the moments we consume a blessing.
When we choose to see that our temporal hunger and desires are emblematic of the spiritual hunger that only God can satiate, we more fully appreciate His goodness to us. In his theological book, Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis invites us to appreciate that our God-given earthly desires are a manifestation of our spiritual desires.
“The Christian says, ‘Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exists. A baby feels hunger: well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim: well, there is such a thing as water. Men feel sexual desire: well, there is such a thing as sex. If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing. If that is so, I must take care, on the one hand, never to despise, or to be unthankful for, these earthly blessings, and on the other, never to mistake them for the something else of which they are only a kind of copy, or echo, or mirage. I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it the main object of life to press on to that country and to help others to do the same.”
May our desires remind us of the blessings He bestows over and over again.