Every once in awhile, I am fortunate enough to stay in a five star hotel or eat at a top Michelin restaurant. The nature of my job and my responsibilities gives me this opportunity, however it does bring a few headaches. When I try to describe my experience, I encounter a range of responses.
One response is disdain. My listener begins to pose questions about the underclass, the poor, or the abused. Inevitably the conversation shifts to the rich versus the poor, big companies exploiting the defenseless consumer. I believe both conversations have merit. I would go further to suggest that each of us should examine our opportunities to act in compassion. Having said that, I do not understand why you cannot be compassionate and still enjoy an awesome meal or accommodations.
Another response is to feign disinterest. The body language seems to scream “why can you just leave me alone, I could care less about what you experienced, especially if it was fun or nice.” There is little one can say to this, especially if the person is truly suffering or in pain.
A third response is to revel and enjoy. I find an openness of two friends sharing experiences. When one of us is able to stay on the plains of Africa and experience the power and beauty of God’s creation, we have an opportunity to share our journey. The incredible meal provides a chance to talk about God’s amazing creative power and gifts to each of us.
The reactions do not stop at travel, hotel, or food experiences. People react just the same when I begin to describe a 5-star experience with God. First, they do not believe such a God exists. Second, if this God does exist, then their lives should be smooth and uneventful. However, there are some who are willing to accept God’s invitation to all of us.
“I’ve [God] prepared a wonderful spread – fresh-baked bread, roast lamb, carefully selected wines. Leave your impoverished confusion and live! Walk up the street to a life with meaning.” (Proverbs 9.5,6)