Holding Out for Fast Food

“I don’t want anything,” pouted our 8 year old as we were about to order. He wanted to go to Taco Bell and wasn’t happy when we opted for a classic breakfast place instead.

I’ve heard these words in the past, and generally ignore them and order something anyway, knowing the boy will cave once everyone else is served. But this particular mood of his was more definite than others, and I decided to let him have what he wanted (or didn’t want, as the case may be).

As I prepped his younger brother’s pancakes, the fragrance of the buttery goodness made me feel a little badly for him as he moped from across the table. He claimed he wasn’t hungry, and I would have been okay with that, but his attitude never changed.

The food was good, the service very gracious; the rest of us had a really enjoyable time while he continued to sulk. He didn’t only miss out on a nice meal, he missed out on the fellowship that the rest of shared as well.

It dawned on me that we often participate in church in a similar way.

We voice our opinion (or maybe we don’t), but when things don’t go to our liking we opt out and side grumpily on the sidelines.

Have you ever heard (or thought) these kinds of things?

“I don’t like video lectures for Bible study, so I’m not going this time.”

“The menu (sermon/music, etc.) isn’t my favorite, so I’m going to skip it until (worship leader/preacher, etc) is back.”

“I’ve been in church since I was born, I really don’t need anything extra at this point.”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to skip a meeting or Bible study or Sunday morning only to be met with a hug or conversation or scripture that completely blessed my day.

Of course, I’ve been on the other side of that equation as well. Just this week I missed out on two such occasions. I’ll never know what blessings may have been in store for me.

I think one of the greatest lessons of childhood is how to get beyond the “I’m the center of the universe,” kind of thinking to realize that in virtually every circumstance, there is a bigger picture at play.

It’s true in our homes and it’s true in our churches. Decisions may not always suit us, but they’re generally made with the greatest good in mind. While the meal may not be made up of all of our favorite dishes, it can still be satisfying and nourishing.

And sometimes when that’s not the case, the solution doesn’t lie in removing ourselves from the situation, but in participating to bring about the change we desire.

At the very least, we have the potential to bless others–as well as be blessed ourselves–when we show up expecting good things and being available to serve or be served.

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4

Is there a circumstance in your life that you’ve ‘checked out of’ because it doesn’t suit you that might actually be an opportunity for blessing or growth? Don’t disregard the banquet in front of you because you’re holding out for ‘fast food.’

One Response to Holding Out for Fast Food
  1. Kendra
    March 12, 2011 | 6:54 am

    This is so true. You made me think about all the blessings I have missed and perhaps the opportunity to bless others by simply not showing up. Thank you for making me think about this.