Persevering Past The Buffet

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                                             June 6, 2013

When I first moved to Colorado Springs I was taken back by all the Chinese buffet restaurants. Our family didn’t eat Chinese food in my growing up years. It was too weird for Eastern Kentuckians…didn’t mix well with our grits and Cracklin’ Cornbread. Lo Mein noodles wiggled too much. Fried potatoes were easier to spear.

Coming to Colorado Springs, however, I discovered Chinese food in abundance. You could eat all that you wanted…and then feel like death warmed over for the rest of the day. I started putting on some pounds. And the thing is, most Chinese buffets offer not just rice and noodles, but also whole food rows of fried foods. I was raised with the mentality that if you could eat it we could fry it.

Fried chicken wings, fried shrimp, deep-fried egg rolls and crab rangoon, fried fish, spring rolls! I pigged out, plain and simple!

And then at my annual physical my physician (who happens to be tall, slim, and Episcopalian) told me to knock it off. My cholesterol level had risen as dramatically fuel prices.

I haven’t been to a Chinese buffet in probably six years, but even writing about it makes me consider the possibility…for you, right now.

James wrote these words in his New Testament book: “…You know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:3-4)

Those last three words seem out of place.

Not lacking anything.”

It would seem that the decline in the number of chicken wings I’ve been consuming would indicate that I AM lacking something.

That goes with American consumer mentality, that if I don’t have it I must be lacking it. We seldom think that not having something could possibly lead us towards fuller lives.

My youngest daughter, who scheduled her life around reality TV shows got rid of cable TV. Moving to Albuquerque and starting a new job where she pays all of her bills opened her eyes to where her money was going. Suddenly the young lady who watched every episode of Say Yes To the Dress went cold turkey…and she has survived. In essence, she gave up something in order to experience not lacking anything.

It is an easy concept to think about, but hard to live by. Persevering in whatever we do isn’t easy. Some weeks we need to persevere in our jobs. Other times we need to persevere in the parenting of our children. Each one of us comes to quitting points in the areas of our life that tax us the most. Every week I pastor has quitting points in it. I realize that some day I’ll be called to step aside and let the journey of my church continue. When that time comes it will not be because I hit a quitting point that I have no desire to persevere through. It will be because it is time, God’s time, the journey has been completed.

Persevering is something not many of us are good at. Our culture tells us that it is all about us…more specifically, all about me…and if there is anything left, it can be all about you. If you don’t believe me just go for a drive on a busy street, do the speed limit, and see how many people get frustrated driving behind you.

Whatever it is that you may be battling, stay strong, pray long, and let your life resemble an ever-evolving new song.

And yes, I know I just did a rhyme!

Explore posts in the same categories: Christianity, Faith, Jesus, love, Pastor, Prayer, Story, The Church, Uncategorized

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