Last week I was fortunate to get to attend Catalyst, a great leadership conference held in Atlanta. I went with some of the other staff from Centricity and was treated to some challenging insights from church leaders, business leaders/authors, and social justice innovators. The opening session featured (as it had the two previous times I attended) the teaching of Andy Stanley.
I always love Andy’s teaching – but he shared some insight from a familiar passage of scripture that I had never seen. I’ll try to share my takeaways – but I highly recommend you look for the message online in a few weeks – you won’t be sorry!
Andy shared that each of us have an appetite and the only word in our appetite’s vocabulary is “more”. 3 key truths:
1. God created our appetite and sin distorted it.
2. Appetites are never fully and finally satisfied
3. Our appetites always whisper now and never later.
How we respond to our appetites may affect our life and our calling.
In Genesis 25:29-33, we see a story of two brothers – the older, Esau, coming into his house and asking his younger brother Jacob for some stew.
Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. 30 He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!” (That is why he was also called Edom. [a] )
31 Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.”
32 “Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?”
33 But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob.
Because of his appetite (he was famished) Esau sells his birthright, his future, his inheritance…..it all to his brother for a bowl of stew. In one simple action, because of a momentary hunger Esau’s world was changed.
There was no one in that moment to help re-frame Esau’s appetite – to put in perspective how detrimental that decision would be. How silly it was to sell his birthright for a bowl of stew. Had someone been there to remind him that generations would speak of the God of Abraham, Issac, and Esau; that the lineage of Christ described in Matthew would be Abraham, Issac and Essau.
But no one was there to reframe that appetite, and he changed his history over a bowl of stew. And that has made all the difference. For as we now know, the scripture reads that generations speak of the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob.
10 Years from now what do I want my life to look like? What do you want your life to look like? The appetites that come our way – the bowls of stew – all have the power to impact our future and change our story.
What’s your bowl of stew? And who do you have in your life to help you re-frame your appetite?