Here’s what I’m talking about: one evening I was cleaning the kitchen with the Food Network on for company when I happened to glance up in time to see Bobby Flay taste a piece of cheese. Bobby (I’d call him Chef Flay in person, but I feel braver in print) is a celebrity chef, restaurateur, television personality, and author of multiple cookbooks . . . in short, someone who knows his food. And there he was, tasting cheese. Now, I love cheese. It makes me happy. But after listening to Bobby expound at some length on the subtle flavors, top note, bouquet, and so on of this specific chunk of cheddar (or whatever it was), I came to the conclusion that I had never tasted cheese in my life. Apparently, I didn’t know how.
What does that have to do with God?
The Bible says to “taste and see that the Lord is good.” (Psalm 34:8 ) What does that mean? It boils down to “try it, you’ll like it”. In other words, give God a chance.
And many of us do, on some level. But I wonder . . . could it be that when God says “taste”, He means something more akin to Bobby Flay’s examination of that bite of cheese than, say, my propensity to scarf down an entire bag of salt and vinegar potato chips in 5 minutes flat?
What’s the difference?
The quality of the experience.
Now, when it comes to food, you may not much care about squeezing every last iota of flavor out of each bite. Food just isn’t that important to some people and that’s OK. But what about God? Do you want to limit your experience with Him to the spiritual equivalent of swallowing a handful of vitamins just often enough to stay alive? You don’t have to, you know. There’s a banquet waiting, with more courses than you can imagine and a vast array of dishes to nourish your soul.
And you’re invited.
(c) 2009 Susan Ellingburg