Though I was given a rich background in reading at home, my school education in the classics was hit and miss...mostly 'cause I moved and the districts had different timetables for when you read what. By the time I graduated from college, I knew that I had some holes in my knowledge. So when I found myself with an inordinate amount of reading time while living in S. Korea, I decided it was time to get to work.
I picked up a bazillion Penguin Classics books, and started digging in. One of my very favorites turned out to be Around the World in 80 days, by Jules Verne. I loved it for its surprise ending...which I will not spoil for you if you haven't read it (Go! Now! Get it!). Few books/movies surprise me, and I adore the ones that do.
Anyway, when the phrase "Around the World" started popping up in my Weight Watchers meetings, I perked up. Jules Vernes has not failed to engage me yet. But my WW buddies had a slightly different meaning in mind. Here is what you hear in my meeting:
"If you are craving something, eat a little bit of it and move on. If you don't, you'll eat 'around the world' to try to satisfy your craving, and then still end up eating what you were craving in the first place (significantly increasing your caloric intake in the process!)."
I have found this to be a good process for me, as I do tend to 'eat around the world' if I don't just 'answer the call' in the first place! :-) However, I have realized recently, that I tend to do the same thing with God.
The one thing you can be sure that a regenerated heart will crave--to some degree--is fellowship with its Regenerator. And though my heart--at its deepest part--longs for my God, sometimes I find that I will try to fill that longing with everything else on the planet before I just get down to business with Him. And when I do finally get back to His presence...we'll, it's definitely sweeter than the chocolate my tongue tends to crave.
But boy-howdy, can it ever take me a long time to get there sometimes.
It is for this reason that I am really grateful that Jesus instituted communion/the Lord's supper. That pause, in the environment of worship, in the fellowship of other believers, is a moment to pause and ponder what my heart is really savoring.
And you might have already guessed that this past Sunday, I found that I had been 'around the world' and was still unsatisfied.
But oh, the goodness and graciousness of our God. Always there with forgiveness (I John 1:9--faithful (ALWAYS) and just (RIGHT because the debt has already been paid) to forgive us!), always open armed to the repentant heart. And ever bestowing His kindnesses on us, which lead us to repentance (Romans 2:4)!
Sometimes, I think being a child of God is like getting a product on sale AND having a coupon for it...which is doubled! It really is the best of everything. :-)
'Round the world and home again,
The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul.
The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever.
The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous.
They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb.
By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.
Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults.
Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me.
Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression.
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
--Psalm 19:7-14, NIV