GraciesCafe.Org - Home
Below are new stories from the Jericho Road. That is, the Walk of life. It is my great hope that you or someone you know may come to have an intimate encounter with the Lord through these revealing words.
EGG PLANT, HOT DOGS AND JESUS
My wife, however, thinks that an overtly competitive spirit is one of the most ugly and annoying aspects of all human traits. She would give me little signs during our first year of marriage that this was the case or disgusted type looks when I would get too excited after winning at Monopoly or a friendly game of cards. Therefore, I have spent the last twenty-something years of marital togetherness trying to hide my competitive traits, trying to douse those burning flames of competition, tying to subdue what my wife thinks is an extremely ugly part of me.
A few years ago we were on a summer vacation with a number of families. Each evening, one family would take their turn at preparing and cooking a big dinner for the entire bunch. This night it was our turn. My wife had her mind set on a particular dish and recipe that she was certain everyone would enjoy and devour - Egg Plant Parmesan. My reaction to her meal suggestion was to scrunch up my face, stick a finger down my throat, and make a dreadful noise with my mouth that I have not made since I was in sixth grade. She, however, was not to be detoured. No matter what argument I put fourth it was to no avail. I realized that regardless of my objections, it was absolutely certain that my wife would be preparing her Egg Plant Parmesan for our turn at fixing dinner.
I’m not quite sure at what point in our discussion that it happened but a lightbulb clicked on in my mind and my competitive thing kicked in full gear and I said to her something like, "Honey, why don't you go ahead and make your Egg Plant Parmesan and I'll make my specialty and we'll see who's gets eaten up first - it'll be fun." She took the bait. It was done. The competition was on. She would make her dish and I would proceed with mine. Just so you'll know what kind of weapons I had on my culinary team I'll give you the quick rundown of Dean's recipe.
First you get yourself a big bowl of mashed potatoes, then you cook up a slug of hot dogs. Next, you take each individual hot dog and slice it down the middle, the long way, with a knife. You don't want to cut the hot dog all the way through - you want to cut in just enough so you can peel it open like a book. You then slop in a chunk of mashed potatoes inside stuffing each dog full. After that you take a hunk of cheddar cheese and grate some of it on top of your mashed-potato-hot-dog-combo. You then put it on a pan in a warm oven for a few minutes and "Bam!" Some of the finest food on this planet emerges.
Dinnertime came and everyone was free to make their food choices. People ate, people laughed and were quite happy with the meal. But..., do you know what happened when we went back into the kitchen after the meal? I'll tell you. There were still about ten Egg Plant Parmesan’s left and all forty of the hot dog things were gone. Devoured. Bam! Victory. Hi-Five. Case closed.
There is only one thing that my wife thinks is uglier than my competitive nature. It is when I win at something and start jumping up and down, gloating in pure bliss and do an extended victory dance. For the next ten minutes I did every touchdown celebration I could think of or invent.
We all want to win don't we - at one thing or another. It may or may not be a cooking competition, or a sporting event. It may just be wanting to win the job, or the new friend or wanting enough financial success to buy a house or car, a cell phone or a cool new pair of jeans. Or it may be simply to have someone accept our ideas or validate our opinions. Sometimes our want is so strong that we compete with all our being and sometimes we even win those things that we want.
None of that stuff is necessarily bad and neither is the pursuit of it but if we are honest with ourselves, if we take a deep look at ourselves, we will realize that we spend most of the waking hours of our lives trying to win or obtain that stuff. And here's the kicker - none of it lasts. None of that stuff sustains or sustains us. It all has to be replaced again and again just as does that winning feeling. The One thing that we should be pursuing, the One thing that does last, the One thing that does sustain, we don't really spend very much our daily life on at all.
Jesus got off the cross and rose again to everlasting life. He won. Bam! Done. He won for us because no matter how hard we try, without Him we can't win. And it is His and only His victory that sustains us and gives us true life.
I'll spare you any tired sports cliches about getting on the “Jesus team.” I know that the last thing you and I need is another rah-rah football analogy. But I know, too, what you and I do need - we need Jesus. More than any of that other stuff we spend our time competing for.
1 Cor. 15:57
1 Tim. 6:11
CLICK THE LINKS BELOW