Would you like to hear a story? Here’s a good one from my day today:
I went downtown with my CREW. No, that’s not just what I call my group of friends; it’s my orientation group. We crammed into the Red Line and headed to Water Tower Place to shop around a little bit. That lead to stopping over at the Hershey’s store, where we gaped at the huge chocolate bars (some for the first time), inhaled the chocolate air, and bounced the super bouncy balls around like little kids. Then we sat outside and talked about how hungry and exhausted we were.
So, naturally when we all got to Portillo’s, my eyes were much bigger than my stomach. Also, I underestimated the portion size. When you pay $8 for pasta, you actually get $8 worth of pasta. And when you ask for a small cake shake (made by blending an entire piece of cake into ice cream), they give you more than would come in a medium fast food drink.
And the stuff’s good people. You want to eat all of it. But you can’t. It’s something that has to come in installments. The rich cream and butter and cheese on that fettuccine alfredo (aka the best you’ve ever had) makes for a hurting tummy if you consume too much.
Isn’t it beautiful? And the amount pictured is the amount I took home in a take-home box. I brought the shake with me as we walked down the street to the movie theater, sipping as I went. The will to sip, to taste each of the three flavors – frosting, cake, and ice cream – individually but blended into the most incredible beverage-dessert ever was so strong, but unfortunately, the reality that my stomach could hold no more was stronger.
I won’t lie to you. The ARA (NPU cafeteria) food is not fabulous. That’s being a little generous. We have a great salad bar, I will say that. But the food’s not great. And there is a serious lack of butter in the facilities. Since I come from a home where at least 8 sticks of butter reside in the fridge at all times, a little bowl full of teeny weeny margarine packets does not suffice to put on pancakes or on baked potatoes. There isn’t enough in that entire bowl for a baked potato.
There are times in my life where I learn, where I realize, where I come across a truth about God or how I should live that makes my life so much richer, so much fuller, and the process of learning it might even be nice. It makes me want more. In a world where there isn’t enough spiritual butter and where we are fed mostly garbage, holiness and righteousness is like a sip of a cake shake.
I would like to think that I could handle more spiritual cake shake moments (or fettuccine alfredo moments) more frequently. But then I remember that I once was really sick, and I still have the effects of a lot of those. My sinful self probably can’t take too many cake shake moments and actually process them the way I should in order to use them for God’s glory. It’s like trying to feed someone with the stomach flu too much too soon. You stick to the easily digestible foods (I know the acronym is BRAT, but I can only remember that the ‘R’ stands for rice). When someone is in rehab, they can completely become independent of the substance, but their bodies may not be able to process the good stuff the same way as before.
it’s not that we don’t need the good or that we don’t have the ability to take it. But I think God spreads out realizations in our lives so that the change is permanent. Because He knows it takes me a little while to even understand what He’s saying. Then from there it has to translate into my life, and goodness does that take a while.
Just like I won’t be eating another cake shake for about a month, so that I can handle it when I do.
Maybe it’s not a direct correlation. But that’s what I’m thinking about after my night downtown.