The responsibility is too great. I lead a small group of wonderful young singles and we have prayer and Bible study together. I’m often introduced as their “teacher” when we are out in public, and that label always makes me uncomfortable. I’m not sure exactly why, but it does. To me, a teacher is someone who has this vast wealth of knowledge and they try to transfer that knowledge onto their students. They are the Master and the student is their disciple, whether it is in a school setting, at church, or even at work. But I don’t feel like a teacher, I feel like someone who is also on the journey trying to discover what it is God wants from me. I can be a mentor, a “spiritual father,” a support, a listening ear, a friend. But I’m not a teacher. I’m not a teacher because I suffer from malnutrition.

Those of you who know me knows beyond a shadow of doubt that I’m not talking a physical malnutrition. I’m talking about a spiritual malnutrition, trying to survive on what Tony Evans of the Urban Alternative calls “fast food, drive-thru” Christianity. Have you ever been hungry, and you walk into the kitchen to find something to satisfy that hunger only to discover that everything in your refrigerator or pantry just doesn’t look good? Dr. Evans said that when you are that kind of hungry anything you put in your mouth probably won’t satisfy. So it is in my spiritual life. Hunger in the body is the emptiness of the stomach. Hunger in the spiritual realm is the emptiness of the soul. And so I try to fill my hunger with “religion.” And religion will always leave you hungry.

Fast food drive-thru eating places were created to help us in our busy, cluttered lives. And most of it, until recently, was junk food full of empty calories and mega fat grams. Some of you crave a good home-cooked meal, and you love going to visit momma during the holidays. To eat something that doesn’t come in a styrofoam box, or plastic bag, with real silverware.

And that’s the way I feel right now – hungry and empty. I’m eating up “fast food” Christianity and filling my life with empty “spiritual” calories, when waiting for me anytime I will take the time is God’s banquet table. Not a buffet table where I can pick and choose what I want, but a banquet table with the best God has to offer.

Let me quote from Dr. Evans if I may:

People today are spiritually hungry. Even though they go to church, read their Bibles, sing the songs, and are involved in a multiplicity of religious activity. There seems to be less joy, less power, less victory.

It’s not because we don’t believe in God, it’s not because we don’t believe in the Bible, it’s not because we don’t believe in Jesus, it’s because we have allowed religion to destroy our relationship. Our souls are empty…

And so I’m wanting a new diet, but at the moment unclear how to get the nourishment I so crave. We are on this journey together, so I expect you to help me as much as I help you.

Call me journey companion, adopted father, friend, whatever. Just don’t call me teacher.

His Peace