Every day before work, I eat a nice bowl of oatmeal. It is delicious, filling, and healthier than a lot of other choices I make throughout my day. I usually sprinkle a little brown sugar on top just for the flavor. Well, yesterday, I used the last of the brown sugar. So today, when it was time to make my breakfast, I opted to go with a cookies and cream poptart instead of my oatmeal. This poptart tastes good. It was fast, convenient, and satisfied me at that moment. Fast forward 2 1/2 hours: I WAS STARVING!!!!! It was only 10 am and I was ready for lunch. Usually when I have my oatmeal, I can go all day without getting hungry again. And that's when it hit me. I made a bad choice.
You see, there's nothing inherently wrong with poptarts. The problem lies in the fact that I chose something cheap and easy over something that would be filling and satisfying. I chose the short term over the long term. And that's how it is in life all too often. We will make decisions that will effect us long term, merely thinking about the immediate results. We often pass on the things that will be most fulfilling for things that will let us down.
In John 4, Jesus is talking with a Samaritan woman at a well. She is drawing water when Jesus asks her for a drink. He then tells her that she should have asked Him and He would have given her living water. She didn't get it. She was more concerned with the water she was getting from the well than what Jesus was offering her. He was trying to talk to her about eternal life. The choice to follow Him and make your life better forever!
While the Israelites were in the wilderness, God supplied them with Manna, a bread-like substance which would only satisfy them for one day. But Jesus said that He is the bread of life. There is no satisfaction outside of Him. We can chase the pleasures of this world, and they might seem good at the moment, but ultimately, our only joy will be found in Him.
I would much rather choose the thing that is going to fill me and sustain me, rather than the thing that is going to leave me hungry for more. Don't try to make a poptart a meal. It's a snack at best. Fill up on the oatmeal that will carry you through the day.