Thanksgiving is right around the corner and one thing that is on my mind is sweet potatoes. I have always loved sweet potatoes. Sweet potato pie, sweet potato casserole, sweet potato French fries, even sweet potato ravioli.
Last week, I wandered into the kitchen and noticed that there were some sweet potatoes on the counter about to find their way into a wonderful casserole dish. I opened up a drawer…..withdrew a fork….inched myself over to the bowl of sweet potatoes that were awaiting their smashing, mixing and delicious additions and I inserted my fork into the bowl. There was steam rising from the bare potatoes…but I was willing to take a chance. I pulled out a tiny bite. It was quite hot…but I ate it any way and found myself making the “hot hot hot” noise as I let the potatoes dance around my mouth attempting to cool them off. I went for another taste. This time I blew on the potatoes long enough to get them to at least a bearable temperature for tasting. I began to chew and taste….and to be quite honest…
I was a little bit underwhelmed. I took another taste and it wasn’t much better. They were bland and simply…..so so.
I had tasted plain sweet potatoes before, and never really given it much thought…but on this day….I kept tasting and kept thinking to myself….I am just not that in love with sweet potatoes. It wasn’t that they tasted bad….it was just that BY THEMSELVES they didn’t have much taste to me….at all. I reflected on the dishes I liked that had sweet potatoes in them…..the pie, the casserole, the ravioli and such. What I came to realize is that my addiction wasn’t to the sweet potatoes…rather it was to all of the amazing things that surrounded them. The nuts, the marshmallows, the brown sugar, the heavy cream, the butter……those were the things that I truly craved. Those were the things that got my taste buds dancing..and the main thing….the sweet potato……it was simply along for the ride.
I fear we often make the same mistake in our relationship with Jesus Christ. We claim that we have always loved Him but we live in such a way that seems that He might be simply along for the ride. We can easily spout off five, six, or even seven weekly or monthly routines that either center around Him or are somehow attached to His name……but when all is stripped away and it is purely us and Him….have we become a little underwhelmed…..a little bored with simply…..Christ alone? Have we gotten distracted by all the brown sugar, marshmallows, butter, and crème and have we simply lost focus of the pure love and relationship that is supposed to be the center of our life….the center of our world? Is He enough or might we at times find ourselves a little underwhelmed?
May we truly examine our hearts and truly question our pure love and addiction for Christ alone. May we ask God to stir our spirit and feed us with the truth in such a way that we will be overwhelmed with His love and with His presence. May we realize that there are some actual good things that are distracters….not just sin. May we evaluate and may we make needed changes in our life that elevate who He is and that eliminate or at least de-value things that have gotten wedged between the purity of our walk with Him. May we study Him, may we know Him, may we seek Him and may we find that we re-discover our love for Him as the true center of our life….the center of our world. May we cherish that truth and may we spend the rest of our life searching and growing to the place that the answer is “yes, yes, yes”…..to the question ……Is Christ alone enough? May we taste and see that the Lord is good.
Written by our Pastor Dr. Mark A Bedwell