Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to Me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in Me will never be thirsty.” John 6:35
It’s Friday…turkey again. Well, the big day was a big deal and for most of us it circled around a big meal. In many cases homes were filled with family and like planes in a landing pattern at the airport, they circled the feast wondering where to land. There were so many choices…it was like Golden Corral had moved into our kitchens. So, we circled, we landed, and we ate. But there is one tradition that we can’t forget when it comes to Thanksgiving. Invariably we prepare way too much and that can only mean one thing: leftovers. It is like the feast all over again…like a good ballgame going into overtime.
So, at least around the Taylor tribe there is always a round two. Sometime after dessert and a nap, we groggily rise from the couch or bed and mosey into the kitchen. There the plates are retrieved from the refrigerator or maybe just uncovered, and we do it again. Oh, leftovers, life is sweet indeed. After everyone has had their fill, again, anything that is left goes back to the refrigerator again. And, like Lazarus in the Bible, don’t worry they will get resurrected again…and again.
Leftovers are a game a preference. For some it is game over after the main event, for others there is a round two, a round three and who knows…a round four. I know for my wife Judy and me the rule seems to be oh, about a week. Recently she cooked a great dish of baked spaghetti, and it was awesome…not once, not twice but for five days we enjoyed it until the last serving make its way to the microwave. Oh, and by the way, yup, it was still good, way good. But all good things must come to an end and so it is with leftovers. Each kitchen master will make the decision when it is time to move from leftovers and makeovers (aka turkey born again) to something new and fresh. That is a good thing…and in life that is a necessary thing.
As we do life it is often too easy to get stuck and be satisfied with the leftovers…with whatever. Again, it works for food a few days but eventually what we enjoyed the first day or two can and will be toxic. The fine line is to know when it is time for something else, something fresh, something new. In the kitchen we call them leftovers but in life we call them ruts. Ruts are when we simply do the same thing over and over again because they are easy, they are familiar, they are comfortable. Well, ruts may be all of that and more, but ruts can be dangerous. Like leftovers left too long on the counter or too long in the refrigerator, ruts can lead to spoilage. Ruts can damage marriages, stifle careers and make relationships staler than two-week-old bread. Most sadly, spiritual ruts can make God seem out of date, unnecessary, and eventually unwanted.
So, what is the answer to the leftover dilemma. Well, perhaps we should follow the advice of the guy in the song, “The Gambler.” We need to “know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em and know when to walk away.” God never intended life and never intended our relationship with Him to be like five-day old turkey. In fact, He invites us to His table where there are no leftovers, only fresh bread and living water. Jesus called Himself that for a reason. He was saying don’t settle for the old when you can have the new…don’t eat stale when you can have life and have it more abundantly.
So, enjoy the leftovers this Thanksgiving but be sure they don’t become permanent fare. And, most importantly, don’t let your friendship and fellowship with your Dearest Daddy digress to leftovers—for He wants something new for you every day. Need help with that? No problem, just ask. He’s got this. Bro. Dewayne