TITLE: Dessert First 03/21/18
By A Mattingly
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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. I walked down food truck row checking out the corn dogs, Texas BBQ, street tacos, turkey legs, homemade tamales and fried corn-on-the-cob. Being a lover of food, the choice was a difficult one. I wanted it all!
I spotted a small push-cart off to the side as I approached the end. This cart displayed the most beautiful candy apples I had ever seen. The dark, ruby-red shells of the apples glistened in the sunlight. I looked 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. 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 couldn’t resist.
Taking a few bills out of my pocket, I pay the kind man, motioning for him to keep the change. Holding the cash in one hand, he smiled and bid me farewell with the other, saying, “Thanks! Have a blessed day.”
There was a quiet place around the corner where I could sit and enjoy my purchase. It had been years since I had eaten a candy apple. I tried to take my 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 bottom 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 little 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. I always jest back with the old saying about life being uncertain and one must eat dessert first. My chuckle turned to a smile as I took another bite with eyes closed so I could totally enjoy the moment.
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 one of my favorite verses. Rightly so, as food is one of my favorite things.
My thoughts drifted to times in my life when I had experienced another type hunger. There would be a strong internal longing or desire for something more. Sometimes the desire was known, other times not. My desire was for the peace and love that only comes from the God. Looking through the pages of my Bible, I would search for His truths just like I walked through the fair searching for something desirable to eat. Flipping through pages, 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. Feeding my intimate relationship with God through reading and prayer fills my heart with the hope and joy that only He can give.
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!
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