I recently had two seemingly unrelated events that managed to comingle and gel into one cohesive concept, at least in my mind. Let’s see if you agree…
Event 1: I left home for a conference in Virginia and forgot my phone. Yes, I actually forgot to pack or carry my cell phone when I departed for the airport. Before I left, however, I texted my buddy, DJ, to check in and see how he was doing. I’ve known him since I was 18 (28 years) and he’s been a central figure in my adult life. He’s an interesting cat: legendary running backs coach, oil man, entrepreneur, mighty Christian, sage. When I was finally reunited with my phone about 10 days later, I saw his response to my “how’s it going?” text. It was (I’m paraphrasing):
God is too good to me. I manage to cause all my own problems.
Event 2: My family and I visited the Cape May County Zoo yesterday. We had a wonderful time and, while we were there, we had hotdogs. As I was finishing my daughter’s dog (it is my job to finish all uneaten foods when we dine out; I bear this cross with quiet fortitude), it occurred to me that I only like hotdogs some of the time. For example, at a baseball game there is no greater food. At a restaurant, on the other hand, a hotdog wouldn’t be my first choice for an entrée.
The result: Let’s put these two events together in an extended metaphor. Be patient; we have a destination.
I was at a restaurant and ordered a hotdog. After ordering, my companions mention that maybe a hotdog was not the best choice. I could have selected a more healthy option. I then second guess my order and think that maybe I should have gone with a burrito; I always like burritos. I begin to stew about my order and decide that I never wanted a hotdog in the first place. By the time it arrives, I’m so dissatisfied that I don’t even want it. I am hungry, though, so I take a tentative bite. As expected, it’s not that tasty. I don’t like the consistency and the bun has sesame seeds. Who puts sesame seeds on a hotdog bun? I decide this is a complete disaster and begin contemplating a second order even though I have food right in front of me. My attitude sours. How can I be expected to eat this disgusting hotdog? I deserve better!
Here’s where I’m headed… one of the most common questions I hear from Christians is this: “What does God want me to do with my life?” The unstated follow-on statement is often, “Surely it’s not the job I’m doing now!” Here’s my answer: God wants you to put him first, to love those around you, and share your testimony — the story of your unique relationship with his son, Jesus. Just because you have a hotdog, it does not mean that you should order the burrito. If God wants you to have a burrito, he’ll tell you when you should change your entrée. Just listen.
For now, enjoy your hotdog. Be happy where you are and don’t cause your own problems. Bon appétit!