This evening I find myself craving pizza.  I remember back to all the pizza-like concoctions I’ve eaten as a kid.  The pizza casserole, which coincidentally is in the Manna: LCF style cookbook.  The tiny microwavable pizzas that I regularly took to school when I was in 7th grade.  To be fair, I ate it for a snack after chapel and mooched off almost every classmate I had.  The precursor to Totinos or D journos that took 660 seconds too long in the oven, which was too slow in reaching the prescribed temperature anyway.  I’m pretty certain I ate at least 2 of those at a time then as I do now.

The best version of the pizza is the recipe my grandma made almost every time we went up to the farm back when I was little.  They were made with homemade dough and fresh or frozen veggies, but always with black olives.  Hot out of the oven and the mounds of melted cheese, they were what I’m absolutely certain ambrosia tasted like, if one disregards all the talk that ambrosia tastes like honey.

Yet today, that memory can do nothing for my craving, save perhaps make it sharper.  In my current state, I am left with limited options but no amount of Vegetable Beef soup or Peanut Butter and Jelly will satiate this, no matter whether I manage to satisfy my hunger or not.  I don’t see how someone could see that I’ve written this without inferring that I will arrive at some point, which I will do now.

Do we ever stop to think about what we crave spiritually? Are we trying to fulfill that craving with something that we aren’t craving? Are we bankrupting ourselves trying to find that satisfaction?  Jesus said coming to Him causes hunger to be satisfied and believing in Him quenches thirst.  How could He say that if He wasn’t what we craved or were thirsty for?  So then, will you, will I, come to Him and let Him satisfy our longing souls?

Reasons to Walk-in

Today, work got called off again because of the weather.  I can’t say I blame my boss for that since the wind chill is hovering right around 0 degrees Fahrenheit.  It takes more energy to keep warm in those temperatures and work gets done more slowly.  There are all these reasons why work can’t or won’t get done, but I’m really frustrated about not getting hours so that my paycheck covers my expenses.  Perspective dictates that I rest in thankfulness for the job God provided and the grace to endure any lean times.

As I regain the proper focus, I wonder if God is ever frustrated with my excuses.  I read about God being frustrated with the children of Israel because of their disobedience in the Wilderness and their excuses why the Promised Land couldn’t be conquered.  The stories of the Old Testament have always been both history as well as metaphors to me and so the stories apply to me as well.

Part of my frustration is that I drive clear across town to the job site only to discover that we aren’t really going to do any work and then I have to drive clear back across town to my house, without any paid hours to show for it.  Isn’t that always the same with God when we make excuses for not meeting Him?  He always has great things to show us about Himself and our own lives, but we make excuses for missing the appointment.  Didn’t we agree we needed Him the first time we came to Him and gave Him the throne of our lives?  Did we not pencil in a daily appointment to “hang out” with our greatest friend?

Yet the winds blow, the storms come; the business of life sets in and steals the time of growth in our lives.  You see, unlike house building, it is the stormy and windy times of life that we need the lifeline the most.  When things get busy is exactly the time we need our Sustainer the most.  Our excuses shouldn’t be the reason we don’t keep our appointment with God; they should be reasons to be a walk-in.