I was reading a story today about these two brothers, Esau and Jacob.
Backstory: Esau was the oldest, a hunter; a real man’s man. Because he was the oldest of the brothers, he was set to inherit his father’s wealth and land and take his place as head of the family when it was time. Jacob was the younger brother, a bit of a homebody, and a stubborn ass. Were going to pick up at the end of Genesis, Chapter 25:
29 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!”
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 Esau swore an oath to him, selling his firstborn birthright to Jacob.
34 Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left.
Random, right? What the hell does that even mean? I am not here to try to interpret the Bible, what I am going to talk about is the one word this story has me screaming- APPETITES.
Who gives up their inheritance for a bowl of soup? Even worse, what kind of brother holds soup hostage until he can swindle his bro out of his inheritance?
We all have these appetites within us, the constant quest for more. It’s different from hunger and can be more powerful that addiction. An appetite is something internal where your body and mind are telling you that they need to be filled – they need to be satisfied. Let me explain: No matter how much you gorged yourself on Thanksgiving, you still woke up the next morning with your body telling you that it’s time for some more.
Its not just food though, we have this internal appetite for all sorts of things: money, fame, gratification, acceptance, beauty, importance. APPETITE. The thing that tells us if a little is good, then more must be better. It’s always there silently whispering – more, more, more. And yeah sure – sometimes it is satisfied. But the thing about an appetite is... it ALWAYS comes back.
So lets go back to this cat Esau. He comes in tired and hungry from hunting, sees this amazing stew, asks for some, and his little brother says “of course… but its going to cost you.” Esau then took the most prized and valuable thing that he had, and he traded it all away, for a freaking bowl of soup.
That’s what an appetite does.
We trade away our future for what we want right now. We trade away significance for cheap, immediate gratification. We barter away our purpose, our souls, our lives, our peace, bit by bit, for a moment’s joy - and we barely pay attention.
This appetite, this disease of unchecked desire is killing us. And the worst part is, we don’t even know were infected.
I’ve boiled down my worldly appetites into five categories that will help explain EVERY SINGLE DECISION THAT I MAKE. The hunger of these five appetites rules our world and the constant quest to fill these needs is single-handedly responsible for everything I do.
The Five Appetites:
1) Security (something that will tell me everything is going to be okay)
2) Acceptance (something to tell me that I’m liked)
3) Value (something to give me purpose or make me feel meaningful and important)
4) Love (something/someone to tell me they will never leave me)
5) Excitement (something that gives me adventure)
Aren’t these the five basic needs of every single human? The problem with pursuing these needs is that it is like storing gas in a fuel tank that’s riddled with holes. So what ultimately ends up happening is we start to seek immediate satisfaction to fill us up. We replace legitimate, lasting substance with crap, simply because it’s easy. Quick fixes become the norm; normal to the point where we don’t even recognize that we are doing it.
We trade security for immediate comfort, acceptance with shallow compliments from strangers. We trade in our 5 closet friends for 500 facebook friends, valuing quantity over quality. We trade value for cheap knock offs. We trade love for lust, filling our desires with quickies to only satisfy ourselves. We trade adventure and excitement for momentary rush of adrenalin. We’ve degraded our lives for convenience.
We trade our inheritance for soup – and we don’t even recognize it until it’s too late.
This Fall right around Halloween we had a big family dinner planned. I am the oldest of four siblings and we’re all grown now and all over the globe so it’s rare we’re all in one place at one time. My youngest brother Jordan was back from Boston and middle brother Jeremy was home from Uganda. My mom and sister, Kayla, cooked all afternoon getting the feast ready. My dad for some crazy reason loves Candy Corn. I will never understand how he eats that shit but he loves it – so my mom bought him a big bag of it, and put it in a bowl for him on the desk in his office. Throughout the day my dad would snack on the Candy Corn – handful here, handful there, refill the bowl, and so on. Well when it came time for dinner – he was so stuffed on the Candy Corn he couldn’t even eat. I think that’s what we do within our own lives for the most part. We fill ourselves up on crap and find ourselves missing out on the feast. If we’d been disciplined, we could have had it all, but instead we’re surprised that we can’t have any.
APPETITES – they come in all shapes and sizes trying to get their fix. We have learned to accept these cheap substitutes in place of the real thing. Porn, Facebook, Alcohol, fast food, coke, instagram hearts, medication and pills to give us peace, cheap sex, money, fame... The list goes on and on. They are all just cheap substitutes for real, substantial, worthwhile, meaningful relationships and desires: we are constantly searching for ways to feed those five things and we lose sight of reality. Even with video games – how many times have you lost sleep trying to get to that next level? Because then – maybe then – you could feel accomplished and get a good night’s rest.
I am not excused from this disease, I’m probably the worst out of everyone. I have a horrible appetite for the feeling of being wanted. Not just sexually, though that’s part of it – I just want to be wanted... I want to be wanted all of the time. Honestly, my appetite for acceptance and value are at the forefront of almost everything I do. I’m reading this book called Searching for God Knows What and it talks about how everything we do is for acceptance. This life is one big lifeboat and we naturally start deciding in our head who we are better than, and it flushed itself out in a recent interview.
I was talking to Chaos magazine recently and the interviewer asked me, “why did you start Ruckus?” I thought about it and responded that - I like and love fashion, but I am broken, and basically, subconsciously, I just want people to like me. The guy paused with a reflective look on his face then leaned over slowly, and looking down said, “you’re not alone.”
What I’m asking is this: what is your candy corn? What in your life has become a cheap substitute for the real thing? What’s something you can consciously do this holiday season to be that thing for someone else? I know for me personally those 5 appetites are only fully satisfied when I look to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. You’ll have to figure out for yourself what does it for you. I challenge you to seriously look at your appetites that have gone unchecked, and once you’ve seen the truth of it, don’t let them keep you from living the way you know you should be.
Josh 1.9 Question / Comments / Hate / Etc - Holler@ruckusapparel.com