What Are You Hungry For?

News, Events and Second Glances

soul

Standing in front of his car, he tried to clear his mind as his stubby fingers strained to pull out his car keys. How on earth could I have let this happen to me? Millicent Milby asked himself for the millionth time. Oh yes, it was right after my career took a turn for the worst. I shouldn’t have let myself go.

Darn keys, he thought. Frustration colored his cheeks and jiggled his two chins.

Then he felt a certain feeling of ecstasy filling him up, like he was being lifted off his feet. It was lifting him up, waking his senses up.

It was joy.

It was the cupcake shop to his right.

His fingers reached for his wallet inside his jacket. What were they doing in his pants’ left pocket anyway?

 ________________________________________________________________________________________

Sure, you may feel sorry for poor Millicent Milby, this guy who can’t control his tummy’s urges. But this story is, again, fictional.

But this fact isn’t:

Two thirds of America’s adult population is either overweight or obese. [1]

Feel sorry for America? I don’t blame you.

How is this so, you ask? How can the great and powerful America succumb to obesity? It’s quite simple really. And it may surprise those who don’t live here.

Reality is, life in America is hard. For most of us here, we deal with double jobs, schooling, taking care of the kids, running errands – the list is seemingly endless.

But we do get hungry, and we do need to eat. So where do we turn to when hunger strikes?

Most of us who are trying to make ends meet fall prey to the fast, affordable way to fill our tummies with sugarcoated quick-fix energy. The same goes for those we take care of – the young ones. Why wouldn’t we buy fast food for our kiddies, when they’re fast, easy and even have toys inside their brightly colored boxes?

As proof of this fact, in an article penned by Sharon Begley, a connection between the majority of us who live in a paycheck-to-paycheck system and obesity is established.

“And one-third of adults who earn less than $15,000 per year are obese, compared to one-quarter of those who earned $50,000 or more per year. The obesity-poverty connection reflects such facts that calorie-dense foods are cheap and that poor neighborhoods have fewer playgrounds, sidewalks and other amenities that encourage exercise.”

But there’s an even sadder part:

Those who are extremely obese are the hungriest of them all. [2] Gone are the days when the thinnest, most unfed people are the hungriest. In today’s fast-food-driven world, it’s actually those who eat more than they should who’d still want to eat even more. And it goes on as a dreaded, vicious cycle.

Living in America, I have seen hungry people gobble up their McWhatevers and their very deeply fried things like there’s no tomorrow. I have seen people use every possible holiday as an excuse to stuff their face with buttery, sugary confections.

But this is not the only kind of hunger that we are facing today; an even dangerous kind of hunger that goes beyond the bowels.

This hunger is a representation of something deeper. It is a reflection of what we prioritize, what we value more as a people. Like how an incredibly painful headache may be a sign of a graver illness, the hunger that drives the rampant obesity in this nation may be a sign of a greater problem that goes beyond the physical.

The world’s hunger is spiritual in nature.

This was made apparent to me during one worldwide Bible Exposition held on January 4, 2013. Even before the questions came pouring in from various parts of the world, Bro. Eliseo Soriano, the Presiding Minister to Members Church of God International started things off with biblical wisdom enough to power a ballpark full of sensible thoughts to all the guests.

Spiritual starvation, according to the preacher/blogger and host of award-winning religious program The Old Path, is what’s eating the world today.  Nowadays, people are materially abundant. Overly so, that their spiritual needs are forgotten.

“In man, there is a spirit, and that spirit needs food,” tweeted The Old Path’s official Twitter account during their Twitter live blog of the Bible Exposition. “In John, 6:63, the words of God are our spiritual food.”

To quell the spiritual hunger of men, an abundant supply of spiritual knowledge and good works must be ingested. Reading the Bible and applying God’s words through acts of charity and selflessness are just what would do the trick.

The spirit, when full of righteousness, will overflow with goodness. A love for others, and a love for oneself will be established. This love will be encompassing, taking all aspects of the self and others into full account. We will learn to take care of ourselves spiritually, morally, ethically, and even physically. We will make better choices. We will be better, with God’s help and mercy, period.

And it all starts on a spiritual level.

“Above everything else, the best thing that we can do for others is to satisfy the spiritual hunger in the hearts of men,” Bro. Eli said.

So, hey, guy, tell me. What are you hungry for?


[1] Taken from an article in Food Research and Action Center’s website entitled “Overweight and Obesity in the U.S.” http://frac.org/initiatives/hunger-and-obesity/obesity-in-the-us/

[2] Information based on an article written in the New York Times entitled “The Obesity-Hunger Paradox” written by Sam Dolnick, published March 12, 2010.

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