Stepping into the lobby of the steakhouse recommended on Trip Advisor, honeymooners Paul and Carol squeezed hands and smiled at each other.
“The highlight of our trip!” Carol crooned. “Paul, you really outdid yourself researching these restaurants!”
But they soon found out something more in city restaurants was required besides money and being hungry.
“Do you have reservations?” the hostess asked as she scanned the restaurant’s appointment book.
“No,” Paul responded, “We didn’t think we needed them. You see, in our town, when we go into a restaurant, they understand we’re there to eat, not to wait.”
“Without reservations, you’ll have to wait two hours – maybe not even then. Wait out there.” Then she pointed to the bench outside where the rain dampened the sidewalk and flowers in window boxes.
So Paul and Carol went humming in the rain to three other downtown restaurants. But all had the same story. No reservations meant no food.
Was the difference because they had a chef—not a short order cook?
Searching for something between “howdy or highbrow,” Paul and Carol, now very hungry, had to make a choice.
It had to feel like home. In Paul and Carol’s community, the waitress just smiled, “Howdy! What’ll you have? Welcome back! Would you like to hear our specials for today?”
The mountaintop cafes printed their prices on the menu. No surprises there.
None greeted customers with, “I’m Roger, and I’ll be your server tonight. And here is our wine list. I would recommend…” Besides his classy uniform, Roger would be outfitted with a battery-operated pepper grinder for sprinkling the diners’ salads.
So searching the city, at number five eatery, Paul and Carol hit pay dirt and didn’t have to have reservations! They found the perfect compromise: a restaurant with linen tablecloths and a waitress who greeted them, “Hello! I’m so glad you came here tonight. Would you like to hear the specials? – and Hey! Congratulations, newlyweds!”
Aaaah! It felt like home.
Food is a necessity of life, but a temporary comfort. We eat. We munch. We eat out – and have to pay the bill. We have to eat again—clear the table and wash the dishes.
And many places send away the hungry – like Paul and Carol – if they don’t have reservations.
Consider these words from the Good Book, the Bible: “Come all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. ….
Listen, listen to me and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live.” [Isaiah 55:1-3 NIV]
But what God offers is spiritual “soul food” that is “the richest of fare.” And it doesn’t have prices on the menu – not because it’s expensive, but because it is free. It is the food for the longing in the soul – for a connection to God and the avenue to life with Him after death.
How do you find it?
First, seek God. Next, listen to Him. Ask that He forgive any of your mistakes, deliberate selfish choices, bad attitudes or actions, or wrongdoing. He forgives you. You are like a new person. After that, ask to receive His gift of salvation. Soul food. Follow up with the key to spiritual growth: pray and read His word, the Bible.
Served daily each day of your life, God’s food will feel like home – wherever you live.
No reservations are required for His Soul Food!
[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of articles, anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. available from Amazon.com, her speaking engagements and website, www.button-to-god.com. Enjoy chuckles and speeches, tips and excerpts in website options and weekly blog.]