Monday, April 8, 2013

Setting the Table

"How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!"
-- Psalms 119:103

A good meal takes time.

When I was growing up, my Grandmother would spend days preparing a holiday meal, and she would start by shopping for the best ingredients she could find. As a kid, that drove me nuts. Because she would drive to the farmers market and every roadside produce stand she knew about. I didn't understand why she didn't just shop at the nearest grocery store and call it a day. But now, looking back, I realize that she knew what she was doing. She knew where to find the best quality produce and meats, and it took time.

Once the ingredients were purchased, she would start cooking everything from scratch, and she would spend up to three days, cooking around the clock to prepare a big meal. I'm confident that I speak for the entire family when I say that our Grandmother set the standard by which all later meals would be judged. Why was her cooking so good? Because she cooked with love, and it took time. That's why you can't find food like Grandma's at McDonalds or Taco Bell. It just takes time to set the table for a good meal.

I hate to admit this, growing up, I took it all for granted. If I had those years to live over again, I wouldn't complain about how long the shopping took, and I wouldn't complain when she occasionally asked for help in the kitchen. I would just enjoy my time with Grandma, and be thankful.

What we know about a good meal is also true about God's Word. It takes time to savor the deep truths of Scripture. God has demonstrated His love through Christ and He has given us His Word; and to discover its riches takes time. But let's face it, we live in one of the most impatient societies in the history of mankind. Even the microwave oven seems to take too long these days. An even bigger problem is what modern entertainment and media has done to our attention spans. For example, how can the nightly news claim to cover a story "in depth" in less than three minutes? To truly understand anything takes time. Our modern way of life has taken a toll on us all, and we are more effected by it than we realize.

If we approach God's Word like a microwave oven, we will not discover its riches. It takes time to till the soil, and it takes time for a rose to bloom. If we give God's word prayerful time and thought, it will yield a bountiful crop, and bloom like a fragrant rose. God is the beauty by which all other beauty is measured and He is the ultimate joy that all lesser joys point to; and He has revealed Himself in Scripture. Let us not take that for granted.

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