Our family enjoyed Spirit Song last week – a Christian concert festival at King’s Island amusement park outside of Cincinnati. We went for two days and made it a nice mini-vacation filled with roller coasters, water rides, a wave pool, and good food. King’s Island holds the distinction of housing three of my top 10 favorite restaurants of all-time, inside park grounds; Skyline Chili, LaRosa’s Pizza, and Chick Fil-A.
Kings’ Island also has an amazing deal for foodies like myself. For just $30+ tax, you can eat at any of those places, plus a few others, every 90 minutes for the entire day. So if you get there right at 10 a.m. and stay on track throughout the day, you can consume nine meals by the time the park closes.
But if you don’t get that plan, you can only get three meals for that same robust price. With a family of four to feed and our favorites staring us down (and the fact we got all our park tickets for free), we made the plunge and bought the all-you-can-eat plan.
The first plate of pizza and breadsticks was wonderful but not nearly enough and so we looked forward to round two around 11:45 a.m. Each time tasted amazing but our bellies began to fill. By 6 p.m., we still hadn’t made our way to Skyline so that became our dinner destination and believe it or not, we couldn’t even finish the plate of fries that came with our chili. We were stuffed.
We had indulged because we could, and because we paid for it.
Couldn’t the same be said for us as American Christians sometimes? Maybe too many times?
I know I am guilty of looking for a life of ease. I know I enjoy consuming good food, funny movies and lots of sports. But, Jesus challenged us to be less, not more.
*He charged us to ‘Turn the other cheek,” (Matthew 5:39) when someone assaults us.
*He said to “Love our enemies.” (Matthew 5:44) and to “embrace persecution for His name’s sake.” (Matthew 5:11)
*He told us “in this world, we would have trouble,” (John 16:33) and yet we pray for safe trips and traveling mercies. We flock to safety.
But I believe the most soul-searching red words I have ever read, come from Matthew 25:35-40.
Just soak it in and imagine Jesus speaking these words as he stares deep into your eyes, and into your soul.
“ For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
My friends, I know I need to do better serving those around me. This is our Savior’s desire and design for true living. He asks us to take off our selfish nature and stop eating every 90 minutes. It’s time to open our eyes and see how we can serve. The opportunities are endless and I bet you will find people who need your help, right in front of you.