I've long been a Max Lucado fan, and I especially appreciate Grace for the Moment, a wonderful little book that packs a punch via a devotion for each day of the year. Yesterday's devotion was one of the many that stood out to me.
The devotion for October 29 begins with Jeremiah 29:11, a verse that I have turned to again and again in the past 5+ years. Knowing that God promised, "I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you" comforts me even when I can't see any good in my current circumstances.
Lucado goes on to tell about a family devotional time in which he put a variety of food options -- fruit, veggies, cookies -- in the center of the table, called his daughters to join him, and gave them each a plate. He explained that every day God "prepares for us a plate of experiences." He then asked his girls to put the food on their plate that represented the type of experiences they preferred to have.
I know I'm supposed to eat a healthy diet, and I've come a long way in that department. But if we're talking about what kind of experiences we would prefer to have on any given day, I'm with Lucado's daughter Sara. I'm grabbing the cookies!
Of course, God doesn't put just a pile of cookies on our plate day after day after day. As Lucado points out, some days our plate is filled with cookies, some days are filled with cookies, fruit, and veggies, and on some days He fills our plate with veggies. Not even a little cup of dip or Ranch dressing. Just veggies.
I pondered this devotional as I drove to work, during down time at work, and then again as I drove back home. I acknowledged immediately that God -- like an earthly parent -- knows far better than His children what they need in their lives. I'm an English teacher -- I get the metaphor. :)
But almost immediately after I identified the symbolism, I heard a voice asking, "And what do you do when you get that plate of veggies? How do you react?"
And that, to me at least, is the crucial question.
Do I whine and cry and beg for a banana split and pout when it isn't forthcoming -- immediately? I must admit I sometimes do.
Do I pitch a fit and stalk away from the table? Yes, I've done that a time or two in the past five years.
Do I look at what is on other people's plates and envy them their Snickerdoodles? Sadly, I do that sometimes, too.
Do I ignore the veggies that will help me grow and become stronger and fantasize about the scrumptious treats I enjoyed yesterday or hope to have tomorrow? Of course, I have.
Do I look to my Father and thank Him for what He has given me and then enjoy those veggies to the very best of my ability? Not often enough.