I hate smoked sausage.
I want to tell you that right now because apparently it’s the hardest fact in the world to remember. At least it is for my parents. Smoked sausage was always for dinner even though it’s gross and dumb.
The routine was always the same:
I enter the kitchen, ask “what’s for dinner,” and see the awful things cooking before hearing the answer.
I remind my parents about “how much not good” smoked sausage was and is and always will be. Amen.
My parents, Barbara and Tomato Johnson (not their real names) would apologize. “Just eat it tonight and we won’t cook it when you’re home again.” Cool cool cool. I’d plug my nose and shovel in a few bites. Done. No more smoked sausage for a lifetime. Good riddance.
A week goes by. “What’s for dinner?” SMOKED SAUSAGE?! AGAIN?! WHAT?! WHAT HAPPENED?! I THOUGHT I’D NEVER SEE YOU AGAIN! Taylor’s parents, William and Angelina (also not their real names) would look at him with such confusion. “What do you mean you don’t like smoked sausage?” It was like last week never happened. I questioned whether my parents even listened to me…or maybe I’m a ghost.
Once again I’d force down a few pieces and run upstairs to cry and write in my diary (exaggeration).
When I was a kid and smoked sausage was on the menu I had to find out what exactly was required of me. I asked the question all kids ask: “How many bites?” What is the exact amount needed in order to be done with this?
Focusing on the minimum requirement is a sign you’re not really invested in what you’re doing. Obviously I never had to ask that question on pizza night or burger night or taco night. Why? Because those foods are awesome! I’d lose count of my bites. There’s no fear of not meeting the minimum with pizza. Pizza is the best.
Let’s replace “bites” with “works” and examine our Christian walk. It’s not about shoveling down this and that so you get to go to Heaven when you reach the end. You will never earn salvation. We are fallen, broken, sinful people who couldn’t stomach what it takes. Jesus did it for us.
When we feel like we’re lacking in our Christian walk some times we think we need to force in some more bites. “If I can get ten more down I’ll be good.” This is dangerous especially when you start comparing your plate to others.
Jesus rebukes the Pharisees for this very reason.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate but the inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.” (Matthew 23:25-26)
Here’s another way we can say that:
Our Christian walk is not counting the bites. It’s falling in love with the meal. It’s pizza night.
Love God. Hand him your life. Put all your trust in him. Most importantly: “Oh, Taste and see that the Lord is good!” (Psalm 34:8)