Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Different Perspective on Nourishment

In Sunday school this last Sunday, the teacher made an interesting analogy. She had us think about what we do when we have lost something and then likened that searching process to how we search the scriptures. Then we talked about how as we search the scriptures more intently through consistent and persistent scripture study, we are able to find deeper meaning in the scriptures and they become treasures to us because of our enlightened understanding. They become treasures in the sense that they gain a more personal meaning as we find ways to apply them in our personal lives.

I was reminded of this analogy yesterday as I read in John 6 about Jesus feeding the five thousand. After they had been fed, the multitude follows him. In verse 26 he rebukes them because they are following him because they had been fed and wanted more food, not because they were interested in his teachings.

Jesus then tells them that rather than seeking after food for the body, they should seek after spiritual food or "that meat which endureth unto everlasting life" in verse 27. He goes on to say that whoever eats of this food "dwelleth in me, and I in him," in verse 56, and that they "shall live by me," in verse 57. Then, Jesus ties up this analogy in verse 63 saying, "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteht nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are the spirit, and they are life." So, as much as we may think food is the substance of life, the words of Christ are the real substance of life. They give life to our spirits which is more important.

In taking the same approach with my spiritual nourishment as with my physical nourishment, I am able to see how much my spirit is in need of that nourishment. It is an interesting analogy and I think it works really well and is worth giving some thought. I think when I starve my spirit by not reading the scriptures or putting as much effort into studying them, I forget about the benefits of such study that I am lacking, just as if I were anorexic, I might forget how good it is for my body to be nourished by food. In either case, that sate is a dangerous state in which to be.

If you go here, you can read a talk I like by Dallin H. Oaks about nourishing the spirit.


Suzie said...

No wonder we're asked to feed our spirits early on in the day. It's always better to go into battle on a full stomach rather than tanking up after the race has been run.
How's that for mixing metaphors? :)

Kaylie said...

Good one! I like it!