a funny story and a word about excellence

“I would give the best wheat to my people.
    I would give them the purest honey, until they were satisfied.” – Psalm 81:16

cart-of-food
image from the web

This morning I’ll post a fun grocery store story that’s earned a few chuckles over the past few days.

I was waiting to check-out, and couldn’t help but notice the jammed full and piled high cart of the woman next to me in line. It was stuffed to the gills with packages of hamburger, corn dogs, chips, bread, gallons of milk and chocolate milk, cookies, more chips, more cookies, sugary kids’ cereals, ice-cream, french fries, chicken nuggets, white bread, soda, and more….

She noticed me looking and smiled. “How many kids?” I asked.

“Just two,” she said; “they’re ten and twelve. You?” She peered into my cart appraisingly; it was less than half-full, with very little packaged food, featuring mostly fresh meats and produce, a variety of cheeses, whole-grain bread, fresh fruits, and craft beer.

“We have two,” I replied. “But now they live in Virginia and Uzbekistan.”

IMG_1761“Oh, an empty nest,” she said, her gaze drifting back between my cart and her own overflowing load.” I guess that means lower grocery bills?”

“No,” I responded without hesitation. “Better food.”

GOD GOT MY ATTENTION: The incident was funny for a number of reasons. But mostly the interaction made me think that her cart was a metaphor for the way we tend to consume across the board – not just food but resources, time, and priorities.

We routinely load up on spiritual junk food, we invest our resources based on the mantra that “more is better,” we prioritize our time and attention in response to “the munchies” rather than healthy balance, and – this is the sad part – we end up increasingly unsatisfied because we fail to nourish ourselves with “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, [priorities of] excellence and [life choices] worthy of praise…” (Philippians 4:8)

But we don’t listen, we won’t listen, and we end up pilling on more and more of what will never satisfy. It’s an age-old issue for us as human beings, and the psalmist lamented the condition in this way:

“But my people did not listen to me.
    Israel did not obey me.
 So I let them go their own stubborn way
    and do whatever they wanted.
 If my people would listen to me
    and would live the way I want,
 then I would defeat their enemies.
    I would punish those who cause them trouble.
 Those who hate the Lord would shake with fear.
    They would be punished forever.
 I would give the best wheat to my people.
    I would give them the purest honey, until they were satisfied.” – Psalm 81

“I would give you the best,” God promises, “and you would be satisfied!”

– DEREK

faith foodie life

derekmaul View All →

Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there's always something new in the works.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor's degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.

Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men's Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.

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