“The laborer’s appetite works for him; his hunger drives him on.” (Proverbs 16:26)
What hunger drives you?
Each of us is driven by something. We have desires, cravings, needs. What is it that defines your search, your work, your labor? Is it success? Security? Approval? Recognition? Power?
Our literature is saturated with heroes whose hunger drove them to great exploits. But that same literature is saturated with villains whose hunger drove them to great destruction. As the film Spider-Man 2 so brilliantly illustrated, each of us has a choice: we will either rise as heroes or fall as monsters.
What our generation fails to realize is that the pursuit of temporal achievement will only yield temporal fulfillment. It fails to even make a blip on the radar screen of eternity. None of it puts us “in good” with God—it just isn’t enough to be wealthy or successful or powerful in God’s economy. And in that case, we are destined to devolve into the monster of the flesh within us.
As children of God, we need to look for something more. There is only one hunger, one driving force, that truly pleases God, and that is the desire to be close to Him and know Him intimately as Father. If we are truly hungry for God, we will do what it takes to be filled by Him, to know Him through prayer and His Word, and to be in His service. Nothing could be more heroic and everlasting.
If that’s what we truly desire, the work hardly seems to be work at all. This proverb reveals that our appetite “works for us,” meaning that the effort stems from a deep need that, once recognized and cultivated, will render distraction impotent and lesser desires submissive to our primary focus.
Once we learn what it is we truly need, the pure waters of God’s refreshing presence, we will never return to the polluted sewage of selfish philosophies.