Hey Hey Hey: It’s the Spiritual Fat Albert!

Pontificating has been light as of late: the realities of daily life (moving, adding a kitten to the mix, throwing an open house/first birthday party – Lord help us all), so I certainly wouldnít call myself ěsaturated in spiritualityî at the moment – my Quaker and Emergent readings have been traded for skimming Cooking Light for ěhealthyî cupcake recipes.

But there have been times Iíve inhaled spiritual readings – and by spiritual, I mean the kind that youíd find in the ěChristianî section at Powells. Iíve glimpsed aspects of Godís nature in books of all sorts, though I doubt A Wrinkle in Time, Alice in Wonderland, or The Traveler will end up anywhere near the Christian Mystics section. 🙂

When Iíve had the luxury of reading to my heartís content, I inhale books. If Iím taken with a specific topic, a decent amount of time is spent researching the subject, looking for *all* the authors and *all* the books so as to accrue all the information available.

But, in the words of Robert Smith, ěitís never enough.î I grasp and I try to control, but it feels as though it all slips through my fingers: the ache isnít relieved, but instead grows.

Today I read a great post by Alan Creech entitled ěof imperfections in respect to spiritual gluttony.î

Spiritual gluttony, as he calls it, is indeed still rampant in the Church. You’re not really allowed to call anyone on it, though. That would be to quell the zeal of your sibling. Of course you should devour every new spiritual book you can get hold of. Surely we should try every kind of spiritual exercise that will help us advance. The defense is heard, “there’s nothing wrong with wanting to experience God in fullness, to feel Him in your bones.” The trouble is, no one ever answers this objection. We always give in so as not to sound as if we’re saying that some desire for God is bad. Well, some ways of desiring God are bad. Some are unhealthy and will end up not leading you to God but to your idea of God and therefore, to yourself as god.

In Quake speak, this friend speaks to my condition (or perhaps my tendency). I also wonder if that could be some of my “disappointment” as a youth with the real life church experience; after coming back from camps and youth gatherings, I wanted and expected to maintain my spiritual high caloric intake, but it just made me fat and cranky.

What are your impressions, thoughts, experiences? Can we hunger for God in unhealthy ways? How do we differentiate between healthy hunger and gluttony?

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