A friend asked me, “What was the greatest meal that you’ve ever eaten?” The question made me stop and ponder. I love good food. I like to eat. I’ve had some fabulous meals. It might surprise you that some of them were in greasy spoon diners. Others were in temples of fine dining. But they were all memorable.
You may be wondering what having a great meal has to do with spirituality or motivation, the general directions of this blog. The short answer is—everything.
It is significant that Jesus enjoyed a good party, turned water into wine, multiplied loaves and fishes, ate a significant last supper with His disciples, and after the resurrection cooked their breakfast. When He was accused by the pietists of being “a man gluttonous and a winebibber” He didn’t bother to deny it. Everyone knew it to be true. Jesus knew that good food and fine wine (the sommelier at the wedding of Cana said it was the best!) is both spiritual and motivating.
Let me explain.
“I want us to go to Little John’s Steakhouse” my young preaching partner Danny Wegman said. I had never heard of Little John’s Steakhouse but arrangements were made as I had the car (the reason that we were preaching partners) and we arrived at our destination, located in a small strip mall. It was an order on one end, walk down the line tray in hand, pick out your sides, and collect your steak kind of place. I ordered a New York Strip because someone told me that was the best steak, a salad and a baked potato. The bill couldn’t have been over five bucks each. Danny said, “This is the way men of God are supposed to eat.” Must be true—we both went on to build significant ministries.
I have had many, many fine steaks since. Morton’s, The Palm, Lawry’s, Chops, and in our city, two of the best, Oakwood Club and Paragon. I have had fancier fixings in elaborate settings but I still remember Little John’s Steakhouse because that’s where I was told “This is the way men of God are supposed to eat.” Food creates memories and motivation.
I took Connie to Southern Kitchens for our first anniversary. It was an upscale, sit down, family style dinner that began with all of the shrimp and crab cocktail that you could eat (I ate four crab cocktails!). It was over twenty dollars each for the meal and I had sixty in my pocket. I kept mentally adding the cost of our Cokes, tax, and tip to the bill as we ate, hoping that I had enough to get out of the place without washing dishes. I did—with sixty cents left. That started a pattern of anniversary dinners—even when I’ve been broke we’ve gone to a good restaurant for our anniversary. Forty-five years later we’re still happily married and eating well. Something’s working.
It is significant that in the Old Testament of the Bible God’s people were called to feasts not fasts. A feast speaks of abundance, of blessing, of connection, and set times. A feast creates
memories and brings back memories. And looking forward to a fine meal certainly motivates me.
“Behind The Door” I’m going to share some great meals, greasy spoons, and memorable moments and tie them into some of the things that will help you to get from where you are to where you’re going. I’ll tell you about a little place in West Virginia called “The Polky Dot” that a friend thought was too low scale for me but turned out to be a delight with a lesson that needs to be learned by all. If you’ve already sown a seed, given an offering, made an investment in this ministry this month you have the password. If you haven’t sow your seed—(the investment that you make is as much in yourself as it is this ministry)—sow your financial seed and you’ll automatically be sent the password via email. It is good for the rest of the month. You’ll want to read this one but I’ve got to warn you—you may get hungry. I’ll meet you “Behind The Door.”