O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
– Psalm 63:1
Insta-Lent Word: Thirst
Thirst is the body’s natural response to dehydration. In fact, once we start feeling the desire to drink water, the dehydration process has already begun. Our body then gives the brain a signal that triggers the desire to consume a liquid that will satisfy that need. What the body needs, craves, and desires is water, but many times we choose to satisfy that need with other liquids (juice, soda, coffee, tea, alcohol, etc.). However, none of those substitutes quench our thirst quite like water.
As I read over the scripture passage for the day I am reminded that in addition to our physical thirst we also have a spiritual thirst. As humans we are created to be in relationship with each other and in relationship with God. Today’s scripture passage describes that thirst so beautifully: we thirst for God in the same way that our body thirsts for water in a dry and weary land.
However, so often we choose to satisfy that thirst with things that ultimately do not quench our spiritual thirsts. Sure, we can easily point to things like drug or alcohol dependence, but how often do we try to allow good things to try to satisfy our spiritual thirst? Maybe it’s that promotion that you are focusing so much time and energy at work for. Maybe it’s that relationship that you pour yourself into. Maybe it’s that exercise and diet regime that you strictly follow. None of these things are in and of themselves bad, but it’s when we try to use that to quench our spiritual thirsts that we find that we end up running dry.
It’s at this point in Lent where we have hit the halfway mark in the season. The things that we have taken on or given up are starting to become regular habits in our lives. At the same time this is the part of Lent when things manage to get a little tougher for me. Even though I remember and enjoy my photo-sharing and meditation practice, I get distracted by things along the way. I think that this part of Lent is where we truly begin to understand what it means to wander in the wilderness–an unknown, dry land–and search for something to quench our thirsts. As we begin to sense the dryness in our mouths, may we remember where our true satisfaction lies.