Spending time with Jesus is like eating a grapefruit. I know not everyone loves eating grapefruit. But maybe it’s because they’ve never given it a chance.

In the middle of winter, with a runny nose and a clogged-up brain, I walked house-to-house selling Christian books. Literature evangelism consumed my life come rain or shine. I had agreed to work for Joe the entire school year at Campion Academy. The only trouble was my nose, throat, and ears. My immune system holds the record for the weakest link in my body. If it were to join a dodge ball game, it would most definitely be chosen last. I would have been fine having a runny nose if my job did not consist of meeting strangers every five minutes and trying to sell them books. I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy every customer asking me, “Do you need a tissue?” But it would have been nice to go to a door where they didn’t have to see me coughing all over their soon-to-be- purchased books.

The third time getting sick in one month was the last straw. Our van driver, Eva, pulled me aside and said, “Mollie, you need citrus. You’re getting sick so often, you should try your hardest to eat citrus every day.” I felt as though I had just discovered the cure for cancer. I didn’t care how I got citrus; I just needed it as soon as possible.

Immediately, I entered the cafeteria and scurried to the fruit bar. To my disappointment, the only option was grapefruit. Gross, I don’t even like grapefruit. At this point, I had two options: eat grapefruit and build my immune system, or continue coughing and carrying snot-covered books.

I chose the grapefruit.

Shortly after I started my citrus obsession, my taste buds latched on to the taste of grapefruit. One grapefruit a day turned into three a day. Threats were made to those who dared to take my grapefruits. I became the biggest recruiter for grapefruit, telling everyone what a difference it was making in me. Grapefruit became my cure for the common cold—and I was addicted.

Our Main Source of Growth

Psalms 34:8 says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” Merely hearing from someone about how I need to eat a grapefruit will never give me the vitamin C I need. For my taste buds to fall in love with it and reap the benefits, I personally need to taste the grapefruit. How can I expect to build my immune system if I only hear about grapefruit one day a week?

I should not wait for the church to feed me. Can I expect to grow spiritually if I am not taking the time daily to let my taste buds latch on to the word? It’s not possible to be changed, fall in love with Jesus, and recruit for Jesus when I am a pew potato. When we taste Jesus for ourselves, we will become addicted. Church won’t be the main source of our feeding—daily devotion with Christ is our main source of growth. When daily devotion takes precedence in our lives, church will be for worshiping Christ, not for waiting to be spoonfed.

Author Mollie Cummings is a junior religious education major from Bemidji, Minnesota studying at Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Get your Grapefruit!

First time devotional reading:

Begin with the Gospels and Jesus’ teachings, or

Use the “love at first sight” approach

Replenishing old devotional habits:

Take familiar stories and dig deeper with critical thinking:

What does this tell me about God?

What does this teach me about myself?

What promise does it give me?