I immerse myself in cultivating friendships, in enjoying the gift of life, in engaging in dialogue with friends and would-be’s. I gossip about the latest conspiracy theories. I book more photo gigs than i can keep up with and enjoy seeing my name in print, my work in Facebook albums and Twitter avatars.

I wade in the shallows and convince myself that if I splash around enough, I won’t miss the depths that call my name with every wave that crashes farther out at sea. I leave my marks in the sand while crooning Mrs. Carter’s melody asserting my presence, yet still manage to be annoyed when the cycles switch up and all trace of my imprint is washed away with the ebb and flow of the tide. I construct run-on sentences with sophisticated imagery that employ a wide array of adjectives that dress up the simple point, camouflage the following underlying theme:

Life without daily time spent with Christ is empty.

You’d think I’d know this by now. On most days this knowledge permeates beyond cerebral levels into my heart. And still, on days like today, it creeps up while pruned hands are immersed in dishwater and distracted mind is otherwise occupied.

The truth is, as much as I love to eat, weaning myself away from my typical diet is causing my body to go through shock. I’ve had fever symptoms and headaches for days after denying myself sugar, caffeine, bread, and red meat. The food I do eat burns efficiently and leaves little residue behind. As a result, more often than not, I’ve felt empty in the past two days. The feeling is a disconcerting one. I’ve forgotten what it feels like to be hungry. The desire to suppress it threatens to overwhelm me multiple times per day. Even as I strive to cleanse and detoxify my system, quitting a process has never looked more appealing.

Ironically, I just finished the third book in The Hunger Games series earlier this evening. You cannot tell me God doesn’t have a sense of humor.

Washing dishes does nothing to distract me. Rather, it clarifies things I’d purposely ignored until now.

There comes a time when one has to stop eating, and has to clean. There comes a time when one realizes that last week’s sponge is sour and must be replaced. The act of cleaning is pointless without fresh water and proper utensils.

God is renewing in me the strength and desire to seek Him daily, even as I type. In this new year, this new season, a weekly dose won’t do anymore.

I pray that He gives you the courage and boldness to examine your appetites and clean your vessels as well.

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