“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life.” John 6:47-48
I could make a list of reasons why I love Sundays at camp that is 15 laps long. It’s such a wonderful day of rest and time with friends. There’s a more shallow reasons I love Sundays however, that can be described in two words: sugary cereal.
Sugary cereal is absolutely my weakness. I could easily put down three bowls of Cocoa Pebbles in one sitting. On Sundays, though, I try to eat fruit and yogurt, too, because while I love Cocoa Pebbles (and Lucky Charms, and Fruit Loops), if I only eat sugary cereal for breakfast, I crash, and crash hard. The cereal that was such a delicious post-Stumblers breakfast makes me feel tired and gross by lunchtime. Sugary cereal tastes so good, but it just doesn’t sustain.
The choices we make can be the same way. Sometimes we make decisions to do or say things that can look really great at the time. Sometimes we make choices to do things because they seem like they will be awesome and fulfilling, but then we end up even emptier than when we made them. I call this the cereal life.
The cereal life can look a lot of different ways. Maybe you’re determined to be an Instagram champion, but no amount of likes ever feels like enough. Maybe you’re wrapped up in a circle of gossip at school and it seems like you can’t get out of it. Maybe you’re trying to be involved in a ton of things and feel like whenever you reach your next achievement, it just isn’t what you imagined it would be.
There are a million different versions of the cereal life that look so promising and sweet, but when we try to be satisfied through them, just leads to us feeling emptier and less satisfied.
The cereal life is no fun at all, and sometimes it even feels impossible to have something better. Through Jesus’s love for us, He promises us something better. He promises us something lasting- not the cereal life, but an abundant life that is sustainable.
Jesus calls himself the bread of life, which might sound a little strange at first. When we think about it, though, bread is something that sustains us - that keeps us full. When Jesus tells us He is the bread of life, He is telling us to drop our cereal lives and trade them in for lives that are sustained by the bread of life that will always keep us satisfied.
Saint Augustine famously said, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds rest in you.” When Jesus promises us that He is the bread of life, He is saying just that. He is telling us to lay down our Frosted Flakes and enter into a life that makes us whole in a way that Frosted Flakes just can’t.
He invites us to lay down our need for acceptance and achievement and realize that only He can satisfy us.