Every suggestion from her seemed (from my perspective) to be met with an apathetic response; something that I really had no intention to do. Realizing what I was potentially communicating, I stopped, turned, and said; “Yes, let’s go to the gym early and then get some take out.”
We decided that what would feed our souls the best would be take out from one of our favorite restaurants – “Beirut Restaurant” in West Saint Paul, Minnesota. It specializes in Lebanese cuisine and over the years we have always experienced great service and great food.
So, before heading up to the gym, we made the call to the restaurant to place our order to be picked up in a couple of hours. This would give us ample time to go to the gym, shower, and not feel rushed.
As it turned out, I ended up staying longer at the gym and returned to find Cathy about to head out to the restaurant to pick up our food; despite my protest that I was planning on making the trip to pick it up. Cathy insisted that I stay home to take a shower so that when she returned we could sit down and enjoy our meal while it was still hot.
Having some extra time after I took a quick shower, I decided to make the coffee table in our family room a little more ‘romantic’ by bringing down a nicer table cloth and candles; which I lit to set the mood just in time as Cathy returned from her trip to pick up the food.
Maybe it was the person whom I was with, maybe it was the fact that we were eating by candle light, or maybe I had simply found a way to slow myself down by eating the food more slowly than I normally do to savor every bite…
But for some reason the meal of charred lamb, humus, tabouli, flatbread, onions, rice, tomatoes, lettuce, and garlic (lots of garlic!) …tasted so much better than all of the other times we had eaten food from that restaurant in the past.
As I was enjoying eating the lamb, awareness came over me as to what it was that I was eating. I realized that a lamb had been raised to be slain for my benefit. In my mind’s eye I could see a little lamb and for the first time in my life I had a deep appreciation that a lamb was raised to be slain for me.
Just before a meal is eaten, it is commonplace to thank the Lord for His provisions. Sometimes the praying person will think of and thank the person who prepared the meal.
Today my mind was totally aware of the person who raised the lamb, the person who killed the lamb, the person who cooked then lamb, and the person who brought the lamb to me.
Tears came to my eyes as I much more slowly savored the piece of lamb that I had been chewing and offered up thanks to my Heavenly Father for providing this lamb for my benefit. I was truly grateful for what had been sacrificed for me and all that went into this meal.
As I sat there in the dark illuminated by only the candle light, I thought of another meal I had eaten during the previous week; one at which another lamb had been sacrificed for my benefit…
It was a communion service, or Lord’s Supper, that I had shared with some of my co-workers…
But for some reason the meal of earthy bread that had been dipped in sweet grape juice tasted so much better than all of the other times I had eaten it before.
As I was enjoying eating the bread, awareness came over me as to what it was that I was eating. I realized that this bread and juice represented a lamb that had been raised to be slain for my benefit. In my mind’s eye I could see what these elements represented and I had a deeper appreciation that a Lamb was raised to be slain for me.
Just before the communion elements are eaten, it is commonplace to thank the Lord for His provisions; I listened deeply to every word as the prayers were offered up for this meal.
Tears came to my eyes as I much more slowly savored the piece of bread that I had been chewing which represented the Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ and offered up thanks to my Heavenly Father for providing this Lamb for my benefit. I was truly grateful for what had been sacrificed for me.