Not far from our house is a small clutch of retail establishments with only three or four eateries. And one of those is a McDonald’s.
We’re not much for fast-food, but when we’re tired and hungry and don’t want to drive very far, we’ll give in and drive up the road and grab a bite. No, not at Mickey D’s – that’s pretty much never in our GPS. Except for their morning coffee. It’s pretty good, I’d have to say. Better than, even.
But I digress.
We’ll invariably choose another joint that at least has some good salad choices and better-than-average chicken plates. Anything with a pretentious ‘Z’ in its name has promise. We’d prefer to add to Truitt Cathy’s bulging wallet, but his place is way over four miles from us; plus it’s only got a drive-thru. And, we like the whimsical, warm-glow atmosphere of the primarily southern restaurant’s (could it be called that?) dining room.
Being the marvelous husband that I am, I gallantly offer to make a run up to the place and pick something up for us both. I know how Sandy likes her tea, how many yellow-pack sweeteners she likes, how she prefers her fries without its strangling seasoning, how she takes her sauce, etc.
I tell you, I’ve got this husband thing down pat.
But, invariably, my love will tell me she’d rather us go together so we can enjoy the full benefits of dining inside. Long ago she explained that you can get free refills, take the time to season or sweeten to your heart’s content, and, who knows, but being extra nice to the girl at the register might cause her to whisper “give ‘em extra fries” through the window to the food prepare’s side.
In short, the drive-thru limits you. What you drive away with, you’re stuck with. Ah, but when you sit and dine – hello – if the food’s not quite to your liking, all you have to do is walk ten feet to the counter and inform them (nicely! Extra fries or chicken pieces in your salad, remember?) that your palate, while titillated, is not yet sated.
A lot of His followers treat Jesus like a drive-thru. A quick convenience. In and out…or, up to the small impersonal window and gone, lickety-split. In a snap. A forty-second encounter. Little fuss. Little wait.
When you drive away, you’re stuck with what you got, that is, unless you’re willing to go to inconvenient lengths to get your demands met.
When Jesus said He wanted a chance to “sup” with us (Rev 3:20), he used the word that means to sit and dine, not looking at the clock, not squeezing Him in, not ‘fast-fooding’ it. It’s the meal of the day that Martha was preparing for, bless her heart. She wanted it just right. Little did she realize, the feast was already happening in the other room.
Oh, the rich benefits of spending a lot of time over a meal with Jesus – not allotted time. It’s not “on-the-go”. The ancients had a meal-time like that – we call it lunch. This is a two to three hour meal where time is taken and life is exchanged. Five, six courses.
Such ‘supping’ offers all the little extras. There’s the atmosphere – the ambience – of being inside, not “out there” choking on the fumes of the world. Complete with all the accessible a la cart perks!
The “better part.”
You may not get a daily time like this, I know, but carve times and seasons throughout the year – weekly, monthly – when you shut off the motor, venture inside…
…and sup at His table.