Nov 6, 2014

Do I Really Need A Six Hundred Dollar Potato?

I was watching a talk show recently and the actor who was being interviewed was asked about his recent trip to Paris. The actor mentioned that one of the highlights was being able to eat out in some of the finest dining establishments in the world; one of which served a baked potato that was smothered with caviar on the top.
I was only half-heartedly paying attention until I heard the actor mention that the price of the baked potato topped with caviar was six hundred US dollars!
Yes, you read correctly, that was six hundred dollars; which works out to only four hundred eighty dollars and twenty cents in Euros! Although I should probably add that I neglected to tell you that the potato was “butter infused”, not merely topped with a pat of butter (as one would suspect).
But, just I was trying to fathom even ordering something that costs that much, he shocked me even more by stating; “I was quite surprise by the cost. I thought that it would have only cost around forty five dollars.”
What did he say; “only” forty five dollars FOR A POTATO!
He said; “If I had known that it would have cost six hundred dollars, I would have eaten it much more slowly!” Not; “If I had known that it would cost six hundred dollars, I wouldn’t have ordered it.”
Then he went to explain that he likes the good things of life and how he wanted someday to be able to share his wealth by sending ten thousand students to college. At forty grand a year that would come to around a four hundred million dollars per year. Pretty lofty dreams for someone who likes to eat potatoes that cost six hundred dollars.
Now, lest you send in “hate” mail telling me how wrong I am to challenge how he spends his money, that isn’t my point of writing this. Personally, if given a choice, I will admit that I would much rather stay at a Marriott than a Motel Six any day. And, when given the chance, I enjoy eating great food including caviar!
Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes chapter 5;
“Here is what I have seen: It is good and fitting for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labor in which he toils under the sun all the days of his life which God gives him; for it is his heritage. As for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, and given him power to eat of it, to receive his heritage and rejoice in his labor—this is the gift of God.” (Ecclesiastes 5:18-19 NKJV)
I just find it strange how we can justify how frivolously we spend our cash while so many people in this world are still lacking a decent living wage.
  And I say “we” because as we enter into this next season of Thanksgiving and Christmas, all of us can use a reminder that there are so many less fortunate than us and just because we have it doesn’t mean we need to spend it.
“If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? (James 2:15-16 ESV)
Let’s set out into this season being aware that we really don’t need a six hundred dollar potato, or whatever that represents in your world. Perhaps this year we could all find ways to spread our “wealth” to others who could truly need it; perhaps to buy an ordinary Russet potato for about thirty three cents apiece.
The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.



  1. Pastor, I remember the skit you did a couple decades ago where the setting was Denny's. Also the knowledge of how your family spent Thanksgiving at the Salvation Army assisting those receiving dinner. As much as I admire you for your consistent awareness of the poor, there is so much value in coming together with loving and caring family and friends during this holiday season. What I have found equally a blessing is to invite the lonely and outcasts to our gatherings, people who may not want just a meal but the feeling of belonging. I have never had much to offer, what I had, I just put out another plate at the table. It may not have been even as elaborate as Salvation Army, but the holiday season isn't about food anyway, but about Life, and that more abundantly.

    1. Thanks for the memories. Actually, Cathy and I had served at "Cherokee Sirloin Room's Annual Thanking Dinner"