It is not always easy being a vegetarian, especially when everyone around you is celebrating the fatted calf, at least metaphorically! I know this and yet have rediscovered just how “out of mind” the plight of vegetarians is to most hosting parties and barbeques. I haven’t found an intentionally negative bone in anyone’s attitude, the reality is that they cannot imagine someone who doesn’t eat and enjoy chicken, pork, or beef. The very thought is somehow beyond the pale.
Last night celebration was a along these lines. There were plenty of vegetarian appetizers, even if it wasn’t always clear which were which. Filtering them out called for the willingness of good friends! As the main course time progressed it became clear that we were going to have to make do with spicy rice, a bit of salad, and early deserts. It was the quality of the latter that made for memorable eating.
Yet, as I ate my fill and then some of hand-made German pastries and cookies, I reflected on how the scene was a working example of life itself. It is not always easy to be a follower of God, especially when everyone around you is celebrating the god of self. We consume life almost without thinking forgetting the main course is God’s offer that “I am the Bread of Life.” (John 6.48) I find myself content to feed on want-to-be main courses, disciplines and self-help. In and of themselves these are not bad but they are nothing like the main course! Discipline and self-help may nurture but they are no substitute for God’s life changing engagement in our life.
Today is fresh, bright, and full of hope. I am really hungry! Even as I leave for the airport I am scheming in anticipation as to what I will pick up for breakfast. I pray that I am as eager for God’s touch and engagement in my life.
God come, give me all that your offer. Reach inside; let your food change me forever. And my actions become nurture for anyone seeking God’s eternal food.
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