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How to be fully satisfied

buffet 384SXRegular columnist Philip Young explains the only way that we can ever be fully satisfied.

The desire to always want more seems to be hard wired into us.
 
In the area of food and drink we call it Gluttony. Many of us find it very difficult to know when to say ‘no’. I’m at my worst in a buffet. I want to try at least one of everything and then I come back again and again until I am nearly bursting.
 
Some of us are obsessed with accumulating more and more material things or by making huge amounts of money. All too easily our behaviour becomes addictive. Many different things can hook us: Alcohol, food, betting, shopping, sex, dangerous hobbies and so on.
 
Some of us find it very difficult to settle at anything and are always craving the next new experience or adventure. This can become rather exhausting and furthermore most addictions are not good for our health or wellbeing.
 
So we need to ask a leading question: Can human beings ever be fully satisfied?
 
Jesus talks about giving us Living Water, saying that everyone who drinks of this water will never be thirsty again (John 4: 13-14). Later on in John’s Gospel He talks about being the Living Bread and says that whoever eats of this bread will live forever.
 
So how do we get to that place of fullness and completeness that Jesus offers us? Jesus says that abiding in His love will make our joy complete (John 15: 10-11). That sounds like a very good place to be. How do we get there?
 
One of my favourite quotes is from Saint Augustine of Hippo when he says: ‘Our hearts are restless till they find their rest in You’. This perfectly sums up the craving for more and offers that the only way to find our rest is to turn to the fullness, which is to be found in God.
 
This, I believe, is the way that Jesus came to teach us. If we look at the life of Jesus we see a human and divine being who is fully satisfied to rest in the completeness of His Father’s love. To do God’s will is His bread of life. This is the bread that fully satisfies. Jesus says, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to complete His work’. (John 4:34)
 
This process of being fully satisfied in God alone is none other than the path of death and resurrection that Jesus shows us. The ego with all its passions and desires has to die in order for a fully human and fully divine being to be born. As Jesus says to Nicodemus, ‘You must be born from above’ (John 3:7). Jesus calls it ‘born of the Spirit’.
 
This process of death and resurrection is God’s work in us. We have simply to give ourselves over to God. Jesus perfected this process so that he could say, ‘The Father is in me and I am in the Father’ (John 10:38).
 
Jesus offered full satisfaction to anyone who followed this way of death and resurrection. The offer is for today and for now, and is open to all. I believe Jesus came to show us that all of us are a wonderful combination of the human and the divine. Just as Jesus was fully human and fully divine so we too are both fully human and fully divine.
 
We can become fully satisfied when we too realise that to do God’s will is our food and drink. When we too can say with Jesus, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to complete His work’, then we too can be fully satisfied’.
 
The “buffet” photo above is courtesy of Andreas Schumann at  http://www.freeimages.com/



Philip Young June 2014Philip is an Anglican, Quaker, and a member of the Third Order of Franciscans. He has recently moved to Felixstowe. Until July 2014 he was the Diocesan Environmental Officer for the Norwich Diocese. He is now a freelance writer on spiritual and political matters and is currently writing his first book called, ‘Vote for Love’. He is available to give talks, presentations or to preach, and has Permission to Officiate in the Diocese of Norwich and can be contacted at philipyoung@btinternet.com



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