It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. John 6:63
Like many of us, my routine has been radically changed by the coronavirus. You may have noticed the blog coming out a little later in the morning because my gym is closed, and I’ve found myself sleeping in. While staying at home more with not much to do, I’ve found myself watching a lot more Netflix and making more frequent trips to the refrigerator. I should be using the time productively, but it’s easier to just indulge a little.
I’m not saying that TV is all bad, but most of what I’ve watched is about as good for my mind as a donut is for my body. Honestly, the way I’ve been using my quaran-time hasn’t been great for my mental, physical, or spiritual health. So, I’ve had to make some adjustments. With the weather sort-of cooperating, I’ve been getting outside to ride bike. I’ve been trying to read more instead of watching TV. I’m still struggling with avoiding the refrigerator. I get out what I put in though. When I surrender to my natural appetites, my physical, mental, and spiritual health suffers.
Jesus taught a similar principle in today’s passage. He’d just fed the crowd of 5,000, who wanted more. He commanded them to seek not the food that perishes, but to seek him, the bread of life. Jesus taught that they must follow God if they truly wanted to know eternal life. Authentic joy, peace, and satisfaction are not found in feeding our physical appetites.
Jesus insisted that we find true life only in feeding and growing our spiritual lives. The problem for us of course, is that the immediate gratification to be found in our natural appetites is so appealing. It’s just more pleasant right now, to sit on the couch, eating, than it is to go exercise. It’s easier to watch TV than to read my Bible and pray. I get out what I put in though. When I fill myself with donuts – or their spiritual equivalent – predictable results ensue. When I feed my flesh, it grows. When I feed my spirit, it grows.
What am I feeding – and growing – today? How am I spending my time? Am I growing my belly or my spirit? I have the time. Now I must make the choice. Will I do what’s easy, or what’s healthy?