‘May I have seconds, please?’

Thursday, February 23, 2017

In our home, we all like different things for supper. Mom will fix spaghetti and inevitably someone will wish we had cheeseburgers. If she fixes noodle soup someone will want fried chicken. Our tastes are all different, yet one thing we all agree is good (and vital) 100 percent of the time: food. We all like food. We agree food is the thing that we all like.

Our tastes are different. I like a certain flavor. She likes this style of cooking. He likes that ethnic flavor. Another prefers eating cornbread more than Jell-O salad. Does that mean we’re wrong? No, it means we have preferences. When it comes to food around our table, it seems pretty simple: If mom took the time to make it, we will all eat it.

Mom fixes us sometimes good food and sometimes it is “edible” yet most times liked by everyone. I know that there have been a few meals that were, well, to be kind, not really that good. But I think it is important to learn that even if you don’t like it, you still should eat it. “You don’t have to like it to eat it.” That is true. She thought enough of us to prepare the meal. The least we should do is be kind and eat it ... without complaining. The children of God complained against Moses and God struck the complainers dead (read the Old Testament book of Numbers 16). There should be a very low tolerance for complaining as it is very hard on family morale. Being kind is always appreciated. Luke 6:35 closes by saying, “for he (God) is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.”

What I’ve found interesting is that mom really does care who likes what and she’ll go to great lengths to meet our desires. I am amazed that she knows our taste preferences like she does. I am amazed at what moms do. I am reminded of this when she asks me to “watch” the kids for the morning.

The word of God is the food for our soul that God himself has prepared for us. Sometimes we like it and sometimes we don’t like it. As a pastor, I am surprised at how many people eat food that is like junk food. They will watch a football game, see “John 3:16” and feel like they have eaten enough food to last them until the next game. Others will get a “daily Bible verse” from the plastic tray that sits on grandmas’ kitchen table; great verse (and usually very timely), but not really enough to fulfill the whole spiritual diet. Junk food is not very filling. Good, but not filling. I like these tiny helpings of food. They, however, aren’t enough to sustain me. Nehemiah 9:21 "Yea, forty years didst thou sustain them in the wilderness, so that they lacked nothing; their clothes waxed not old, and their feet swelled not."

The preacher preaches the word so that everyone can eat the food. Not all people like all types of food, but we all must eat. Sometimes the food is undercooked; not cooked long enough in preparation and therefore seems a bit “empty” or without form. Sometimes the food is cooked too long; nothing more to say about long sermons. Sometimes the food smells badly, or it looks awful, or even tastes bitter. God has given us exactly what we need, when we need it and we better eat it. God knows our desires and tastes. He also knows what we need. Isaiah 5:20 "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter."

He knows us better than we know ourselves. So why don’t you ask for seconds — it tastes good. Job 23:12b.

This column was inspired by reading Psalm 78:12-29.