Life Is a Food Court

28 May

Forrest Gump’s analogy of life: it’s like a box of chocolates. I get it. All the chocolates look scrumptious, but each one hides a different flavor inside—some delightfully delicious, some create photo ops for posting. In the same way, you never know what life might put in your way. However, I say life is also like a food court. Large ones can be a carnival of choices. Burgers to egg rolls. Meaty to vegan. Snacks to full entrees.

The array of choices and the reasons for making them mirror life. We face thousands of choices every day. We try to prioritize, schedule or budget our time, smile at the successful project sure to wrap up soon, and then interruptions derail us. Too often, our subconscious steps in and makes decisions for us through habitual reactions. We are usually okay with that because it’s what has worked well for us other times.

Sometimes, passively accepting it and following through with our self-programmed response creates the worst outcome, maybe not apparent until years later, as in Harry Chapin’s “Cat’s in the Cradle.” That ballad tells the life story of a child who seeks his daddy’s attention only to be put off for a more convenient time. Then as life passes by, the daddy becomes the one who wants and needs the help and attention of his son, only to be given his own answer back to him: don’t know when we’ll get together, but we’ll have a good time then.

At times, it may seem like all we can do is make a choice and hope for the best. But Jesus didn’t see it that way. He told his followers, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst,” (John 6:35 NKJV). That’s a direct quote from the One who holds all authority in and of the universe. All power in heaven stands behind those words.

Jesus is not an hors d’oeuvre for society to politely sample to quiet the spiritual stomach growls. He’s the banquet. We are to feast on him—his life, example, word, and wisdom. We find our sustenance and total satisfaction in him, by him, and through him. Stopping when we think we’ve had enough cuts short his plans for us. We must partake until the Holy Spirit fills us to overflowing.

I didn’t become a coachman driving the important dignitaries to the feast (standing with the horses and hoping someone will think to bring out a morsel to me) when I decided to follow Jesus. I am one of those chosen ones responding to his invitation to come. Answering his call each time he calls means I’ll not suffer spiritual hunger. Life-giving bread can’t be found anywhere else.

Jesus stated we must also believe (have faith, hope, confidence in him, his promises, and his teachings) then we will never be a thirsty, dry twig. Elsewhere he said we would have springs of living water within us.

Box of chocolates. Food court. Going through life accepting whatever happens or making choices on whims. None of those can promise any certain good. Jesus offers himself as the choice we mustn’t pass on or take lightly.

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