Thursday, November 19, 2009

Parable of the Two Salads

The Christian life is a journey. We accept Christ as our Savior, realizing we are sinful and then give our life over to His teachings and transforming love and grace. What follows is a constant learning, growing and changing at a pace our own ‘will’ will allow. I was 40 years old when I experienced the Parable of the Two Salads and though it was a heart changing, life changing experience I had already been on my Christian journey for many, many years.

In reflection this was my Jeremiah moment. Jeremiah 29:12-14 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the LORD, and will bring you back from captivity. Although Jesus became my savior in grade school it took over thirty years of stuttering growth through stubbornness and selfishness to reach the spiritual development where He revealed Himself in a powerful way.

It was Thanksgiving, 2001 and the atmosphere was tense. No family or guests were expected but I was planning the meal, the day, the whole school break. There were two particular salads from David’s childhood that we always included at the Thanksgiving meal. Groceries were purchased, food made and served. Questions were raised about the salads. Something was different. What does that matter they are present on the table. Tensions rose, words were snapped, feelings hurt; the silence was deafening.

I bustled around the littered table cleaning up the remnants of a not-so-perfect meal while having a boisterous discussion with God in my head. “Why is he being such a . . . ? Why can’t he . . .? Why isn’t he . . .? Why doesn’t he . . .?” And in the midst of my tirade God asked, “Why don’t you?” I was dumbfounded. He proceeded to open my heart and flood it with David’s point of view, what my actions looked like and how, as a child of His, I should be choosing to act instead.

Like individual playing cards my negative, selfish behavior of the day was laid out for me to see. How I ignored what David was wanting, the good, childhood memories the salads evoked, for my desire of penny saving and expediency. How my unenthusiastic, rushed manner reflected on everyone else and created the tension. Where were the fruits of the spirit? Where was my Christ like behavior? Where was my thanksgiving?

I asked God, and David, to forgive me and made Psalm 139:23-24 my daily prayer. Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. (NIV) I asked God to give me the desire to seek Him and He planted that desire deep in my heart.

In the past eight years of consciously, deliberately seeking God I have enjoyed a deeper personal relationship and He has restored my joy in life. I was on the journey but often taking my own path and finding frustration and dissatisfaction but, when asked, He showed me a much narrower path that brought me closer to Him and understanding what He requires of me as an agent of the kingdom.

Do you have a personal parable that allowed God to reveal Himself to you in a powerful way? I would be honored to hear your story if you would like to share.

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