“The greatest enemy of hunger for God is not poison but apple pie. It is not the banquet of the wicked that dulls our appetite for heaven, but endless nibbling at the table of the world.” ~ John Piper
Whether they were the first to introduce the concept or not, I remember White Castle as making the “crave pack” a huge seller. They encouraged people to satisfy their craving by getting not just a couple of burgers but an entire sack, a crave pack. From there, many other products began to offer items to satisfy, as they claimed, the cravings of their customers.
If you do a quick search of crave packs, you will find that they cover many items: coffee, battery chargers, vitamins, Taco Bell, snack packs, and, of course, White Castle, just to name a few. Cravings are the stuff that make advertising executives rich. They present commercials targeting the cravings of the consumer to increase the volume of sales.
Cravings are also the stuff that make the devil so successful in his temptations. He knows exactly the things that we desire and he presents them in very desirable packaging so that we “buy” what he has to offer. Cravings for this world’s goods are the biggest danger to our spiritual lives. When we crave this world’s lures, we take our eyes off of the Lord. When we take our eyes off of the Lord, we can get into trouble quickly as we stray from the path.
I know that we are often presented with the image of “straying from the path.” This image might be hard for us to envision because we live in this world, a world that is very well mapped out with roads. When we think about straying from a path, we can imagine ourselves leaving a sidewalk or street. We also think that we will find it again with little problem.
However, straying from the path is more like being in a dense forest seemingly without end and following a path that is barely beat in the ground through the vegetation. We have heard stories about people who left a path for one reason or another and become lost in the wilderness, many times dying for lack of food and water with no path to guide them out.
Straying from the path that leads to the Kingdom of God is just like that. Once we take our feet off the path, we go into the “vegetation” of the world around us. The trees, high grasses, and brambles can contribute to a loss of direction and before we know it, we are no longer on the way to the Kingdom but, rather, are starving in the wilderness.
If we are going to crave anything today, let it be the Kingdom of God and not the things of this world. That craving will keep us on the path and true to the mission that God has entrusted to each of us.
FAITH ACTION: When you find yourself tempted by the things of this world, ask the Lord to help you overcome your worldly craving and substitute, instead, a yearning for His Kingdom.
Remember: The Fridays of Lent are Days of Abstinence from meat and meat products.