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Eating Dirt

Eating Dirt

Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters . . . Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Isaiah 55:1-2

Pica is a psychological disorder in which an individual develops an appetite for non-nutritive substances like soil, clay, detergent, hair or paint. More common in pregnant women, the one suffering from the disorder often understands these things are not food, but the diseased appetite overrules reason, resulting in pathologic behavior.

It’s almost impossible for the outside observer to understand. Why would you eat that? That’s gross and makes no sense. Self-destructive behavior in others is usually like that though. The non-alcoholic can’t understand why the alcoholic continues to drink himself to death. The spouse of a porn addict cannot grasp why the one enslaved cannot stop. From the outside, self-destructive behavior is as insane as eating dirt.

Most of us have some behavior like this. Most of us know what it is like to continue to pursue some destructive thing, just because we feel like it. The rage addict continues to yell at his loved ones, despite hating himself for it. The food addict continues to stuff himself with chips and pizza despite the diabetes, hypertension, and crushing guilt. We’ve all attempted to satisfy our deepest needs with something inappropriate and unhelpful.

In response, God does not chastise us for having an appetite. He does not say that it’s wrong to desire fulfillment and joy. He simply points out that we are aiming our appetite in the wrong direction. He asks why we eat dirt when we could fill ourselves with him. Are you thirsty? Come to me. Are you hungry? Fill yourselves with that which truly satisfies. In me, you will find the life you have been looking for.

If we find ourselves sick of our self-destructive behavior, we must daily do whatever it takes to abandon that behavior and we must learn to continually fill ourselves with God. He created us to know true joy and fulfillment in him and anything else we try to stuff in his place is like eating dirt.

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  1. Patrice says:

    You’re words are amazing, thank you !

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