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HUNGRY ALL THE TIME

Wendy Ulrich

May 28, 2012

Recently I read: And blessed are all they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled with the Holy Ghost (3 Nephi 12:6).

I hunger and thirst a lot. I hunger for Reese’s peanut butter cups, hot bread, funeral potatoes, those marshmallow eggs with the colored candy shells they have apparently stopped making (what’s that about?), and occasionally something as potentially healthy as fresh raspberries or a good artichoke. I thirst after sparkling cider, hot chocolate, fresh orange juice, Fresca mixed with cranberry juice, real lemonade, and occasionally cold water straight from the tap.

I can even think of times when I might say I’ve hungered and thirsted for the Spirit, longing for the taste of prayer on my lips, or the fullness that comes after a spiritual feast.

But upon reading this scripture I found myself wondering – do I actually hunger and thirst after righteousness? Do I wander around the world the way I wander around my kitchen looking for just the right acts of righteousness to satisfy some deep spiritual palate? When was the last time I perused the scriptures for an enticing description of service or mercy, the way I might search a menu in a fine restaurant for a tantalizing dish? Do I make out a spiritual grocery list before I head out for the day, eager to stock my pantry with virtues? Do I find myself thirsty mid-afternoon for some old wrong to right, some stranger or friend? Am I eager for a cup of the milk of human kindness, not to drink myself but to pour out on others before I retire at night?
Not so much. In fact, I can be sort of unsavory salt.

But I’d like to give it a try. Maybe this needs to be my newest fad diet: Replacing my chocolate craving with a yearning to do good. Retraining the part of me that lingers over the buffet table to linger over the ward roster instead, searching out ways to help. Retooling my eyes to linger over beauties and blessings with thanksgiving instead of lingering over a bakery shelf with greed.

Where would I begin? The Lord taught his disciples to pray for bread for today. I guess I begin with prayer as well, but this would not be a prayer for satisfaction but a prayer for longing: Bless me today with hunger.

Bless me today to be thirsty. Bless me today to be as disgusted with sin as with rotten fish or sour milk. Bless me today to starve for integrity and charity and hope, to dig for them as I would for winter carrots when I had nothing else to eat. Help me thirst as much for a forgiving heart as I would thirst for a cool mountain spring after a hike through a hot desert.

Christ was the Bread of Life who gave Himself away, the Living Water who poured Himself out for others – and me – to drink. As I hunger and thirst to be more like Him-to do and say what He would in my place- the miracle of abundance emerges, and I am filled.

How have you been filled by small righteous acts?

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