Full Stomachs

The last time you heard from me, I was talking about food. And here I am again, about to talk about food. What can I say; I can’t get enough of it!

Along with working in a church, I also am a waitress at Olive Garden (those student loans won’t pay for themselves).  This month began our “Never Ending Pasta Bowl” promotion, and it has been a big hit. Who couldn’t resist the temptation of constant fettucine alfredo or spaghetti refills? Some    people can’t finish their first bowl, where I have refilled a person’s bowl 5 times before. It’s a gluttonous, delicious, carb-loaded, heavenly trap.

While working my weekly shift the other day, a couple unknowingly taught me a great lesson with their pasta intake. When I asked if they were ready to move on toward dessert, one of them said, “We are going to let our food settle a bit first while we wait for room.” I have heard it said that before getting more food, this is actually smart to do: someone doesn’t start feeling full until about 15 minutes after the stomach is actually satisfied.

So what lesson did I learn in this? Sometimes as humans, we have eyes that are bigger than our stomachs and we like to move on to the next course before we are ready, and that’s not just limited to food. Our eyes look toward what is coming, or what we want to come, rather than enjoy today. I am the biggest failure at this! In one month from now, I will be marrying the man of my dreams. I so want that day to come sooner (I’ve admittedly even suggested eloping). However, this time of engagement is a gift from God – a time to get to know each other more deeply! To quote the band Journey, I get the joy of rediscovering him each time I see him, because it’s not an everyday event yet.

Ecclesiastes is a great book that can quickly put one back in his/her place, especially concerning the concept of “today”. The author says in 5:8, “This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot.” Why are we trying to move on to the next course of the meal, when it’s so short to begin with? Enjoy today’s toils and its food and drink.

What is it that you’re looking ahead to, but not enjoying today? Is it finally being done with school? Is it this brand new job you’ve been wanting? Is it marriage? Is it retirement? Do not dwell in these things of the future. Enjoy today, and be filled up with the plate God has already put in front of you. I will be the first to say that some days are harder than others to do this. When your joy is in the Lord, though, and what He gives you today, your life will be changed for the better – it will be filled with a heavenly joy, regardless of its circumstances.  Let your food settle; enjoy today.


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