My friend April is studying Culinary Arts. She currently spends 12 or more hours a day marinating in the multi facets of the art of mixing, creating, cooking, preparing and presenting. To hear her talk about food, preparation and presentation is invigorating. She has more passion for food than anyone I've ever met.
I never realized so much thought, effort and creativity went into the process of preparing a meal. Occasionally I'll get a spark of inspiration, send everyone out of the kitchen and begin creating my signature masterpiece fondly referred to around my house as "Jerrell's Dish." (I could describe here what's in it and the secrets thereof, but your screen would explode as you read it). And, there are times, like last night, where I enjoy having some friends over and I grill up some finger-lick'en chicken kabobs, with each element colorfully selected and arranged with great precision, not to mention the careful choosing and pre-tasting of a combination of spices and herbs. Throw in my wife's sweet potatoes and its a party.
However, more often than not, my meals consist of a box, a mix, a bowl, some water, a little microwave and presto -- my gourmet macaroni and cheese is ready to be served. Not the case with my friend April. To watch her work is like watching Picasso paint. And the finished product... even better.
For the masses, eating is simply something we have to do to survive from one day to the next. The premium is placed upon the speed its delivered, not creative arrangement and presentation. The emphasis is on how quick we can devour it and move on to our next obligation, not savoring of each bite, intentionally experiencing the layers of tastes and textures thereof. We simply just eat...and then move on to the next thing.
Kind of reminds me of prayer. There are moments of inspiration and heart-felt passion, but often, if we're honest, prayer gets reduced to a list, a duty, something we simply "have" to do to make it through the day...
This weekend at Calvary Temple we are beginning a new series of messages... Bon Appetit. This series will begin to look at prayer more like April looks at Culinary Arts: the tastes, the textures, the layers, the thought, the color, the multiple dimensions, the spices, the herbs and the presentation. Prayer is intended to be bring one into active engagement with the Living God in such a way that leads to the transformation of ourselves, our reality, even history itself.