The average American eats fast food several times a week. Most of us realize that fast food is much less healthy than most food prepared and eaten at home. But with our love of convenience, our fast-paced lifestyle, and the lure of hyper-palatable food we have become believers – and consumers.

We love fast food in other areas of our lives as well. We love entertainment that’s ready-made, internet-produced intimate relationships, and “drive-through breakthroughs” in our spiritual life. We are running so fast that the real hungers we struggle with often get no nourishing food at all. Perhaps that’s one reason so many of us struggle with addictions: we are desperately trying to feed our hungers with food that does not satisfy.<

Fast food provides a quick fix for an empty stomach, but the quality of nourishment and the level of satisfaction it provides are very small. A few hours later you’ll be craving food again.

On the other hand, a tasty and healthy meal you and your family look forward to takes longer to prepare, but is much more satisfying, not to mention nourishing. And what about the truly gourmet meal that takes all day – or days – to prepare? Making food an experience to remember takes time, but it’s oh so much more pleasurable. Your hunger is satisfied for a comparatively long time.

In the other areas of our lives we settle for fast food all too often, and miss the deep pleasure, satisfaction, and nourishment we really crave.

  • Relationships: the fast food of a one-night stand vs. the gourmet meal of a decades-long faithful marriage
  • Entertainment: the fast food of a two-hour movie vs. the once-in-a-lifetime gourmet meal of a week exploring some natural wilderness
  • Mental health: the fast food of a feel-good pill or drug vs. the gourmet meal of a long-term positive change in your thinking process
  • Spirituality: the fast food of an emotional religious service vs. the gourmet meal of a lifetime spent serving and loving the God who made you

It’s not that the fast food items listed above are always wrong (with the exception of the one-night stand, of course). There are occasions where fast food gives you a quick dose of the calories you need to keep going.

But if you want real satisfaction, if you want your deeper hungers to be met, if you want to find true nourishment, if you want to be healthy in body, mind, and soul, you need more gourmet meals.

Your turn: What fast food have you been settling for? When can you plan your next gourmet meal for the soul? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

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