To All Graduates Everywhere: This Will Make Your Mouth Water!

“As the deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul pants for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.” – Psalm 42:1-2

A man was fishing without success when he noticed a woman nearby who was reeling in one after another. Frustrated, he finally asked the woman her secret. “Are you fishing for supper or for sport?” she asked. “I’m fishing for sport,” he answered. “Well, there’s your problem,” the woman stated. “I’m fishing for supper.”

Appetite is a great motivator; it always has been. Productivity, for instance, is highest just before lunch, then drops off drastically once appetites are satiated, much like the difference between fishing for supper or fishing for sport.

The beauty of your recent graduation is this….you’ve got an insatiable appetite to conquer whatever’s up next, and you’re highly motivated. Congratulations for successfully concluding one chapter of life, although the reality is the next one has already begun. It would be great to relax, take a respite, enjoy this victory before chasing after the next. As you’ve learned by now, we are very busy people in a very busy world. It’s just the way things are. So, it’s time for you to think through what’s next.

The most pressing questions confronting you now are this: What is it that you are hungering for? What makes you thirsty? More specifically, what really makes your mouth water? How you answer those questions will influence the rest of your life more than you can imagine.

In Greek mythology, King Tantalus offended the gods and was punished in the underworld. He was placed in a lake where the water was up to his chin. Whenever he attempted to satisfy his burning thirst, the water receded. Over his head, branches were laden with choice fruit. Still, whenever he tried to satisfy his hunger, they eluded his grasping hands. Tantalus, therefore, became the fitting symbol of frustration. Even today, his name is remembered in the English word tantalize. The Psalmist likewise expressed this same sentiment in Psalm 63:1: “My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”

It is absolutely true; only one filler existing in the world today can ultimately gratify whatever makes your mouth water; He is The Living and Enduring Jesus; everything else will only tantalize. History has proven this out. Around 400 AD, St. Augustine penned one of my all-time favorite quotes: “You have made us for Yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in You.” Before Augustine, it was Christ Jesus Himself who declared, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” (Matthew 5:6) Or as affirmed by The Lord our God in the Old Testament: “For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish.” (Jeremiah 31:25)

According to C. S. Lewis, “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” We were indeed made for another world. I trust you have well-realized that by now. But I would contend great satisfaction is to be found in the here and now.

To return to the ultimate question posed before you: what is it that makes your mouth water? Regardless of how you replied, to find the answer just open your mouth. The Lord promised to fill it. “Open wide your mouth and I will fill it!” (Psalm 81:10)