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Grade “F” or is it my place to grade them?

Grade  “F” or is it my place to grade them?

What…an ‘F’?

Why oh why is my life this way?  It is so empty, so lonely, so vacant and alone.   Don’t worry, I’m not talking about myself, I’m actually talking about the restaurant we went out to last night for supper.  I know it sounds a bit crazy, but that was the words I could hear coming out of the magnificent, dark-stained wood beams as they stood over the emptiness that should be a booming food establishment.

 

One of our friends works out of state half the month, so we joined them for a goodbye meal before his morning departure back to the oil rigs.  His wife stated that she would like to go early in order to beat the evening dinner crowds and insure us a quick seating, so we agreed to meet at 5:30pm.  I know right, that is early.  Anyways, we met as planned and headed into the lobby entrance.  And as I looked around I saw only a few staff members and a handful of patrons seated.  I thought to myself, fantastic…we should get great service and be in and out.  But as you can guess, this wasn’t quite the case.

 

Now mind you, that I have been teaching all about love and the importance of humbling oneself to think of others as better than ourselves.  I know you can already feel it coming on, the test….dun, dun, dun.  Yep, that is exactly what I got….the dreaded, but very important, God test.   And how I do is all up to me.

So, usually the first thing you do in a test is put your name on top and get ready for the questions.  So, I’m thinking, okay this is the easy part….meet our waitress……….meet our waitress……….meet our oh, here she comes.   Nope, not so much.  It’s just a sweet lady putting down some bread plates.   Meet our waitress….meet our waitress, okay finally a waitress (only 15 minutes after being seated with no one in the restaurant btw).  Oops, did I say that.

Question number one…….WRONG!

Onto the next section of the test, getting our food.  Oh, by the way, did I mention that we are at a steak house, known for ah…being a steak house.  Anyways….question two….WRONG!   Here comes that beautiful 6oz filet, medium-rare with a loaded baked potato….yum,yum…..well-done.  Are you kidding me, really?  Of course a steak house can’t properly cook a steak.  Can they not put a thermometer in the meat and test it before sending it out?  No wonder it is so dead in here.   Yikes….question number three….WRONG!

Wait, there is just one more question on my test….let’s see how I can do.   The very apologetic manager makes his way to the table and offers us free desert for our troubles.  Oh, how nice…thank you sir.   Yeah, nope, just a few eye rolls and another look around at the empty restaurant.  The beautifully plated mocha mud pie, strawberry shortcake and chocolate lava cake arrived at the table.  They look glorious upon the plate with the whipped crème in abundance.  Then, once again, the looks of disgust upon all eight faces as we pass around the deserts.  Needless to say, we left them half-eaten in the middle of the table.   Question four…….WRONG!

 

Final grade…….F!

F, what do you mean F?  If I was you I would have felt the exact same way.  Well, initially I thought that too.  I felt that I had a right to be upset, disgusted and let down all at the same time.  But then I remember that one precious word of God’s……love.

1 John 3:18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

I know, you expected me to post 1 Corinthians 13 didn’t you?  Love is patient, love is kind, etc.  But, I believe this verse hits home with my test.  I love how John starts off with “little children”.  That about hits the nail on the head.  We love to act just like little children when we don’t get our way or things don’t go just to perfection.  It’s all about me, me, me.  But, Heather, you were at a restaurant and a paying customer.  You should expect a good service.  Yeah, yeah I know.  But as we grow in Christ, we need to learn to go a bit deeper than just the surface.   We need to realize that God can, and does, use the little or sometimes big experiences in our lives to help us grow.

So, here goes.  We all need to grow up and quit acting like whinny little kids.  We are in this world together.  And no, it is not a perfect world.  And no, not everything always works out the way that we would hope it would.  And no, you aren’t all that matters in this life.  But, but, but……no buts.  We have to get over ourselves and realize there is a whole world full of people that need to see Jesus through us.  Not just in word, as the scripture says, but in deed (action) and in truth (for real).

We have to be done with saying…oh, yes I am a Christian….tee, hee, hee….I am perfect….look at me.  While on the inside you are a slathering, hot mess.  God wants us to be so much more than that.  He wants us to show our love for others in our actions; and He wants us to really mean it.  So, to put this in everyday terms….when your service at a restaurant is not that good and the food comes out tasting terrible and being overcooked, you do not sit and down-grade everything.  No, you stop, think about all of the circumstances and love.   You pray over the staff, the cooks, the manager.  You ask God to bless them and make them successful and yes even cook your steak to a perfect medium-rare.  Well, really God does care about the little things and He wants to be involved in every part of our lives.  So, why not our meals?

Just remember that when you ask God to make you into the person He created you to be or you ask him what it is that you can do for Him, get ready.   Because God isn’t going to just test you in these big, enormous ways all the time.  Yes, he may ask you to do a mission’s trip, or feed the poor, or clothe the naked, etc., but most of the time He is just telling us to love.  So, I encourage you today to take off your blinders and notice the little quizzes in life.  And be prepared by trying, and trying, and trying again to show your love in real action.  Don’t be fake and try to act all perfect like you are little miss or mister I never do wrong.  Just be love and notice others and pray for their needs.  Open your eyes and look around you because there are tests everywhere.  Now comes the final question… are you passing your test?

 

Blessings:  Heather Joyner

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