Thursday, January 14, 2010

would you like fries with that?

What if life were like a restaurant, and you could simply order things off a menu and have them brought to you on platters?

I'm not talking about stuff - but experiences.

Tired? You could order up a Good Night's Sleep Appetizer - your choice of featherbed or memory foam.

Or when you're stressed - simply put in a request for a Well-Timed Vacation entree - you choose the duration, location, and up to 3 guests to go with you.

A well-trained, polite staff would be there to bring things out, beautifully presented on trays and platters, to refill your water glass, and to make sure that the everything has been to your liking.

And then you could always send things back - "This is not what I ordered."

It *sounds* idyllic. And as much as there are bits and pieces about the scenario that are truly appealing... there are a few problems with the whole layout.

First, menus never tell you everything about what you're ordering. And if they did, it's unlikely that you'd actually read the entire list, because who wants to spend their time doing that? Then when it comes, it's not quite what you thought you'd be getting... Or perhaps you *do* read the whole description, and then change your mind about ordering the most amazing dinner EVER because it has something in it you've never heard of before - and that freaks you out a little. How many of my life experiences have gone that way? If I had known the whole truth about some experiences of my life - would I have opted out before even trying them?? Or waited until I felt more "ready" for the challenge? And let's be honest - how often would I really choose to go through those "learning" seasons of life if given the option? I shudder a little to think what it would look like if I was in charge of the shaping of my own character.

Then, of course, there's the issue that restaurants need to prepare ahead of time - so customization (while sometimes feasible) is typically minimal. You can't ask them to add just a dash of cinnamon to the blueberry pie before it's baked because that's what you'd do if you were making it at home - so you take what you get. The Life-Restaurant would remove some of our ability to take life and make it our own - and while there are days when I might trade leaving my own personal stamp on my life for the simplicity of ordering from a menu... I wouldn't be willing to forgo that forever.

Finally, in restaurants, we feel that we deserve to be completely pleased when we walk out the door because we paid for a service to be provided for us. And that makes sense. By Life-Restaurant-Logic, that gives Christ the right to dictate what is ordered, served, in what order, at what pace... because HE paid for my life. I've done nothing, and really - have no "right" to demand anything at all... and then the whole dream scenario fails.

This is all just an elaborate metaphor to remind me that although there is a piece of me that wants to say "Um, excuse me - but this isn't what I thought I was ordering when I asked to Be a Mama!" or "You mean being Grown Up comes with these side dishes no matter what??" - the truth of life is better than whatever scenario I could dream up.

Because the truth is that God loves me. My life is a gift, and the experiences I am given - while not chosen by me - are chosen by my Creator. And His love is better than life, His grace is more than I can wrap my mind around, and His peace passes my understanding.

So I tuck my napkin in my lap, and say "Yes, please - I would like fries with that!"

1 thoughts:

Kaycee said...

I love this! You are so creative, what an interesting perspective to think about life. And I agree, it's a good thing I don't get to pick or who knows what kind of person I would be.

Those grown-up side dishes are so hard sometimes. :)