“What Have I Missed All These Years?”
Since I am not working quite as much as I used to, I have tried to be more helpful around the house. I am taking over more of the cooking duties and preparing menus. I don’t know if I will continue to be so excited about these things but for now, I really enjoy my new-found creativity and am really having fun in the kitchen. In fact, it brings back early memories of my mother teaching me to cook in the kitchen back on Claremont Avenue in Beverly.
Not only that, but I am even involved more in loading the dishwasher and washing the pots and pans. To be fair, I have a much keener appreciation for cleaning up while I cook – I didn’t used to worry about how many dishes I used to prepare meals, but now I do!
Of course, part of cooking is doing the shopping to re-stock the pantry and fridge. And so late this afternoon, Janet and I went to Kroger, the local grocery store, to pick up a few items that we needed.
And that’s where our story for tonight begins… I was standing at the deli counter, placing an order for various luncheon meats to make sandwiches. I ordered sliced turkey and roast beef. While I was standing there, a lady next to me was waiting in line with her two young girls. She ordered some barbecued chicken and soon several of us were talking together in front of the counter. One of the deli workers was a young man who seemed to know quite a bit about all the products. Of course, I would expect that he would know his job and be an expert in knowing the differences in all the products he sold. He obviously enjoyed his work very much!
But that’s when he threw us a curve ball. He shared with us that he had been raised in a family of vegetarians and, until recently, had never eaten any kind of meat. We all stared in him at disbelief! He was now in his early twenties and before a year ago, he never, ever had any of the products that he sold. Apparently, one day, he had the urge to try one of the deli meats and he couldn’t believe how good it tasted! And that’s when he gave up his vegetarian legacy and started eating meat… I asked him how he reacted to this new dimension of his life and he responded that he couldn’t believe what he had been missing all these years. It was quite a revelation to him. It was apparent that he regretted not having tried to diversify his eating habits much earlier in life but he was never exposed and didn’t know any better.
Of course, I started thinking about the similarities to having a relationship with Christ. Some of us have been devout followers of Jesus for many years, but there are those among us who have never had a relationship with Jesus. And they are missing out on the greatest blessing they could ever experience. It has been my experience through my years in ministry that when people do finally accept Christ as Lord and Savior, they remark about all the years that they had missed being in a relationship with God. But that’s okay – once that relationship starts, it lasts for all eternity…
The verse for this evening is from the author of Hebrews. He tells us that eventually everyone will know the Lord. We are told, in Heb. 8:11, “No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.” Isn’t that a great thought?
My encouragement this evening is that we should do everything we can to hasten the process of people learning about the saving grace of Jesus. My prayer is that those who are far from the Lord will be swept up in the Good News and will become part of the adopted family of God. That’s when they will really taste the “meat” of the word of God. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…