I’m mildly engaged in a “whole foods” kick. As the cook in our home and the one in charge of groceries, it’s my job to make sure they’re putting healthy stuff in their bellies. A dear friend of mine is wholly engaged in whole and organic cooking and foods (although not a freak, might I add! She’s not out preaching home-made granola and soy-everything to the masses, she just does her thing) This friend gave me some helpful suggestions on how to shop for whole foods, cook from scratch, etc and I have to say it’s been a good change in our house!
As any parent of small children knows, juice is a favorite drink among the little ones. Orange is a biggie in our home. Since citrus fruits are pretty expensive nowadays, I knew I wouldn’t be juicing my own oranges (come to think of it, I wouldn’t do that anyway!) So I set out to find a good orange juice with one ingredient – orange juice. I ended up buying Simply Orange. I was pretty taken aback at how good it tasted! Just to see if it was really that different from old faithful (Minute Maid) The difference was obvious. So obvious that Minute Maid went down the drain. Yeck.
As I was enjoying a glass of my OJ the other day, it occurred to me that we ( meaning those around my age range) have been raised on a lot of foods and products that look or taste like something else. That are less than authentic (ahem, Milli Vanilli) That are just shadows of the real thing. When you get a taste of the real thing, it’s almost impossible to go back.
My mind then went to thinking about my relationship with God. How often have I settled for less than an authentic relationship with God? Jason calls it just “being a sponge.” Going to church, singing the songs, listening to the sermon, taking a note or two, praying over your dinner sometimes, reading a christian book here or there … and feeling completely depleted, unsatisfied, and just plain bored. That’s what happens when we go through the motions.
Just like junk that tastes like strawberries pales in comparison to a beautiful, juicy, red strawberry – simply “playing church” and failing to go deeper with God pales in comparison to a vibrant, real relationship with God. James 1:22-25 says:
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it–he will be blessed in what he does.”
I don’t know about ya’ll, but some time ago I got tired of lying to myself. I don’t do well at pretending to “have it all together.” What’s in my heart eeks its way out one way or another. I got tired of pretending to have a great relationships with God when I hadn’t talked to Him in forever. I got tired of offering futile prayers for forgiveness for not following the rules…for forgetting that God’s word is much, much more than a book of rules, but rather a love letter to His creation. A tool to know Him, to hear from Him, to love Him, and yeah to obey Him too. I forgot all that and started to settle for something that was just a shadow of a realtionship with Him. I settled for something that required little and in effect, produced little joy, little peace, little love….
Psalm 34:8 says, “O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!”
I encourage you to taste the real thing…get into the word for yourself, search it out, seek God with all your heart and taste of His goodness. You’ll be spoiled for life!