Embracing Life Abundantly or the Value Menu by Jo Russell

As the honeymooners Herb and Marnie seated themselves at the table in the café for breakfast, they pushed two paper tickets to the center.  “Complimentary breakfast included,” it read from the Best Value Inn next door. They had booked and counted on lodging along the way which offered free breakfasts. So far, the places along the way gave them great food and plenty of it.

While she waited at the cafe, Marnie admired with wonder her new husband and also the homey décor from the red checked tablecloth to the warm wood plank walls decorated with western art and photos. It was the only café open for breakfast within an hour’s drive.

“Oh, you’re from the motel,” the waitress commented as she stepped up to the table. “You can choose four items on the menu for your meal this morning.”

His wife studied the menu and smiled at the waitress. “I’ll have pancakes, sausage, and a cup of fruit. That’s just three.” Marnie added, “You can bring me ice water with a slice of lemon also.”

“Do you plan on having syrup on your pancakes?


“That’s one of the items. So is the water. So you have five items. Do you still want all of them?”

“Is that okay, honey?” she queried as she studied her husband.

“There will be an extra charge.“

“That’s okay. Hmmm. I’ll have scrambled eggs, coffee, bacon and a sweet roll,” Herb told her.

“Do you plan to use the salt, too?” the waitress wanted to know.

“Why, yes, of course.”

“That’s one of the items.”

“I’ll have the salt anyway and the rest of the things.”

“There will be an extra charge.”


When the meal arrived, Herb’s pile of eggs was small enough to fit on top of a button and his one slice of bacon was the size of a stick of gum. The sweet roll was a mini like a small donut.  All three would still have lots of room even if served in a puck-sized ramekin.

“Refills on coffee are an extra charge,” the waitress announced as the plopped the plate down.

Marnie’s pancakes were average sized, but the sausage was smaller than a grub worm. She poured the thimble-sized container of syrup the waitress on the pancakes.

As they left the cafe still hungry, Marnie commented, “Say, why don’t we go for a drive and get some lunch?”

“Right now?”


“Good idea! You’re worth it! ”

Life abundantly or living with the value menu? Jesus offers us a choice. In his own words, “The thief comes only to steal and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” [John 10:10 NIV]

What does that mean? Jesus gives life, not only as the son of God and creator, but in his offer of the pathway to Heaven. Life after death has already been offered from Jesus’ own life. Forgiveness each day and circumstance that we experience; God’s love forever and always; guidance from the Holy Spirit. Life that we can see and experience with joy because it’s not the end, just part of the journey; abundance not dependent on the menu, the circumstances or challenges. We are reaching higher and taking his hand. And Jesus takes it, steadying us along the way and giving us what we need to do what we can’t do in our own power.

Abundance of joy, gratitude, humility, guidance on the road to eternity.

Those gifts are only the beginning. God doesn’t limit it to four like the value menu. He includes plenty of free bonus gifts and surprises.

[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of scores of articles, a half dozen anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. available where print books are sold and in e-book. Look for Give Us This Day Our Daily Grin – A Fun-Lovers Guide to Spiritual Living and Growing releasing for pre-sales August, 2017. Jo lives in northeast Arizona and writes a popular humorous weekly blog on her website, http://www.button-to-god.com.]