It was a sunny afternoon as I walked through a small-town festival taking in the sights and sounds. After strolling through art exhibits and vendor booths, I decided it was time for dinner. Checking out the corn dogs, Texas BBQ, street tacos, turkey legs, homemade tamales, and fried corn-on-the-cob along the food truck row, the choice was a difficult one. Being a lover of food, I wanted it all!
I spotted a small pushcart off to the side as I approached the end. It displayed the most beautiful candy apples I had ever seen. The dark, ruby-red shells of the apples glistened in the sunlight. Glancing up, it was obvious the kind-looking man standing at the cart had noticed the sparkle in my eyes.
“Sweetest apples in the county, right here,” he said as he stretched out his arm holding one just for me. The look on his gentle old face was not that of a hard sale. It was more of a warm, no-pressure invitation. One I could not resist.
Taking a few bills out of my pocket, I pay the man, motioning for him to keep the change. Holding the cash in one hand, he smiles and bids me farewell with the other, saying, “Thanks! Have a blessed day.”
I found a quiet place around the corner to sit and enjoy my purchase. It had been years since I had eaten a candy apple. I went for the first bite. My teeth just slid across the candy surface without breaking through the ruby-red. It was time to hold firm, the stick with one hand and the top of the apple with the other, and just go for it! Taking a firm bite out of the center, the candy shell broke and delicious apple juice ran down both sides of my mouth. Aah, the sweetness of the crisp apple mixed with the crunchy cinnamon candy was to die for! I took another bite.
Sitting in my happy place, I had to chuckle. Once again, I found myself eating dessert before the main meal. Friends and family are always razzing me about this peculiar habit. My chuckle turned to a smile as I took another bite, eyes closed this time.
The words, “Taste and see that the Lord is good…,” filled my thoughts. “…blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.” These seventeen words from Psalm 34:8 have always been a favorite verse. Rightly so, as food is one of my favorite things.
Thoughts drifted back to times in my life when I experienced another type of hunger, a strong internal longing for something more. Sometimes the desire was known, other times not. Searching revealed I was missing the peace and love that only comes from God. Flipping through the Bible pages, I would search for His truths just like I walked through the fair searching for something desirable to eat. One turn of the page and there it would be in an unexpected passage. Words that filled me with joy. The more I tasted His Word, the more I learned of His satisfying truths.
So just go for it, eat your dessert first. Taste and see that the Lord is good. Let those delicious juices of His love run down your cheeks. After dessert, you can go for the meat. Feeding your intimate relationship with God through reading and prayer that will fill your heart with the hope and joy that only He can give.
There are many types of gardens. The first two most people think of are flower and vegetable gardens, There are also water, rock, medicinal, and meditation gardens. One many don't consider is the garden of your mind. Is your mind garden producing weeds or beauty and nourishment for your soul, body, and relationships? Though weeds have their place in the soil we cultivate, they do not belong in our mind garden. With the grace of God, we can become master gardeners at removing the weeds in our mind.