As I sat in the Pizza Ranch yesterday afternoon waiting for my lunch guest to return to the table, something caught my eye in the midst of my miserable state of having over-eaten the Ranch buffet.
"Ever felt a hunger so powerful you couldn't tame it?" reads the piece of Pizza Ranch literature that also includes a menu and the phone numbers of their growing list of stores throughout the midwest. "That's Cowboy Hungry...And when Cowboy Hunger hits, there only one solution. Head straight for your nearest Pizza Ranch."
I have spent my professional life in newspapers - covering meetings; writing stories; photographing people, athletes, etc.; and creating and selling advertising - you name it in newspapers, I have probably done it. I particularly have always enjoyed the creating and selling part, helping businesses promote themselves and to increase their bottom line while increasing my own.
A sort of hunger, I suppose.
That being said, I appreciate a good ad campaign when I see one. But as I glanced out the window at the beautiful sunshiny day, this piece of literature grabbed my attention and I couldn't let go of it.
Over the past few years, my hunger and desire for things has changed immensely. My hunger and desire to exceed expectations, to earn money and provide for my family (which isn't all bad), to have this and that and to not be like others was an all consuming hunger. I suppose there was even a time when I headed straight for my nearest Pizza Ranch (or some equally worldly place) to appease my "cowboy hunger."
That which I hunger for now, though, has become "a hunger so powerful that I can't tame it." In my continuing quest to experience grace and peace, the hunger for all things Christ burns deep in my being.
That hunger helps John 10:10 come to life when John talks about having life and having it to the full. It is an appetite to know God more and more and to see him show up more and more. It is a desire for a daily diet of prayer, praise, scripture and community. It is a hunger for eternity here and now.
God showed up in a worship service on Sunday, a restaurant yesterday, a phone call earlier today and in song a moment ago.
Read these lyrics from Shawn McDonald's "Here I am" as he hungers for more and more of Christ:
"I lay myself at your feet,
won't you meet, won't you meet us
I cannot do it on my own,
I cannot do it all alone
Here I am, tonight,
with my arms open wide
I want you to come inside"
I wonder where he is going to show up next!?!
The beauty of a life of hunger, of being "Cowboy Hungry" as my brothers at Pizza Ranch would put it, is that I know He is going to show up again very, very soon!
My prayer today is that we are starving for Jesus - that suppressing that appetite isn't an option - and that we will look to Him and to each other to be fed...that we will hunger for Him like never before.
Are you hungry?