The table is set and overflowing with our favorites. For me, that means wafts of steam are lifting off the rich, orange mounds of a large bowl of buttered squash. There’s medium-rare sirloin, sweet babyback ribs and garden fresh green beans that will snap when I bit into them. Oh man, what a feast!
But I walk away…
Just down the road is a dark, hole-in-the-wall diner. I pull myself up to the table and dig in to a serving of dry, over-cooked meatloaf topped with scalded gravy. I choke down a dinner roll that has been sitting in a basket for at least a few days and I slurp in some lukewarm creamed corn.
Why do I do it? Why do you do it?
We come to Christ and discover His love for us; his care. We taste purpose for the first time. We sit at His table with enough to satisfy us for eternity. And then we walk away.
Why does that dingy diner look so appealing? What magnet does it have that pulls us in? We know where it leads.
I remember my friend with his round-faced kids and his beautiful wife. I watched him walk away and go into the diner. His affair cost him his marriage, his job and his kids. He knew what affairs cost … still he walked straight into one. Now he tells me he’s angry with God.
I’ve seen some get tricked into going into the diner. They go along with friends and gradually, little by little, they start sampling the menu until they too are choking down three-day-old dinner rolls and wondering how they got there.
Relationship and community. I think it all comes down to those two words. We were created to be in relationship with God and then, community flows out of that relationship. (If you want to read more on that pick up “The Art of Personal Evangelism” by Will McRaney) Our community is deeply impacted by the status of our relationship with The Creator. When we pull away from God and weaken our relationship with Him, we impact our community. Or, we can switch communities altogether.
I think of it like a battery. If my cables are firmly connected, the battery turns my engine over easily. But, if I allow corrosion to build up I start to notice a lag in starting my engine starting. If I disconnect the cables altogether my engine is powerless.
Sometimes my connections with God get corroded. I allow the busy-ness of my days to build up. Or maybe my time in His book becomes less and less which allows more corrosion on my connections. And then there is what the Bible calls “sin.” Sin is the stuff that the bible says we shouldn’t do because it’s corrosive – it weakens our connection, our relationship with God and cuts off the power.
But unlike a car battery, our power source never goes bad. God does not lose His power. He stays the same. When we’ve chosen to allow the cables to get corroded all we need do is come back to Him and ask him to cleanse us and reconnect us. The damage done to our community (church, family, friends) may not be repairable but God allows offers the opportunity to reconnect.
If you’re choking down dry rolls in a dark and musty diner, I invite you to come to the table that Jesus has set for you. Whether you need to connect your cables for the first time or ask him to grind off the corrosion, Jesus never turns us away.
God’s desire is relationship. It is what we were created for.
2 Cor 5:15