“…if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.” 1 Peter 2:3
I eat fast. Really fast. My husband, Andrew, does too. Often when we are out to dinner, and the waitress breezes by to ask, “How are the first few bites tasting?”, Andrew is reaching for his wallet and I am asking for a “to go” box. Those of you who have shared a meal with us are nodding and smiling, aren’t you?
In our defense, we come by this food-shoveling habit honestly. It was a survival skill we each developed during our medical training. Here’s a typical scenario of dinner as a resident-on-call:
After multiple visits to the ER, two admissions and a crisis in the ICU, our four-to-five-member on-call team, finally catches a break. Uniformed in scrubs and stethescopes, we head down to the cafeteria, to stack our trays with the free hospital food. After settling into orange vinyl seats and tasting the first few bites, a beep-beep-beep sounds. And then, another one joins in. As everyone reaches for their pagers, an announcement drones overhead: “Code Blue, 4th floor, west wing… code blue, 4th floor, west wing.” Collectively we groan, and then grab our gear and rush upstairs to see about the emergency. Often – no, usually – by the time we make it back down to the basement to try to salvage the remainder of our cold meal, we find the cafeteria is dark, its doors bolted shut. Sigh. Another night of vending machine supper.
In residency, it became clear that you’d better eat fast, or you may not get to eat at all. Food wasn’t to be savored, just consumed, because the main point of eating was not enjoyment, but sustenance. Enjoying the taste of food was a luxury one could not afford, with such an unpredictable schedule.
Andrew and I have learned over the years that normal people don’t gulp or shovel. Normal people take their time, and actually seem to enjoy the taste of their food. They savor. They actually enjoy what they are eating. When I eat dinner with these folks, I find that I appreciate the flavor of my food more than I ever would on my own.
1 Peter talks about tasting the kindness of the Lord.
I love that word picture, because in order to taste something, you have to slow down and pay attention to what you are eating. Don’t we find ourselves rushing through life, consuming the blessings God gives us, but never taking time to savor them? In order to taste God’s kindness, we have to be willing to let go of our tendency to hurry, and embrace a more leisurely, thoughtful approach to life. Let’s face it: most of our rushing around is not because of life or death emergencies. It is primarily caused by an accumulation of commitments or desires – some important, some not so important.
So today, choose to not simply consume God’s kindnesses without really appreciating them. Instead, choose to taste God’s kindness. Take the time to notice the many wonderful ways He has, and is now, blessing you. Savor His loving presence always with you and within you. Enjoy!