Chicken and Waffles.
For the longest time, it was just a decent dish to me. An interesting combination of tastes, but nothing I would ever go out of my way to eat. Whether it was the spot in Jack London Square, Merritt Bakery, or the famous Roscoe’s, each restaurant pretty much made them the same, and as time went on, I found myself desiring them less and less. I was disinterested.
And then my wife and I visited the Brown Sugar Kitchen in Oakland, California.
Their Chicken and Waffles were unlike anything I’d ever tasted. Their unique, corn-meal based waffles were incredible, their apple-cider inspired syrup was delicious and their flavorfully seasoned chicken is, probably, the best chicken I have ever eaten in my life. And I am not exaggerating.
I had no idea that Chicken and Waffles could taste so good! I was ignorant to the potential of the dish, and that ignorance impacted my interest.
Ignorance impedes interest.
And our ignorance does this to us all the time. In every area of our lives…
We think we know how good a particular food is going to taste. We think we know how interesting a particular person is going to be. We think we know how fulfilling a particular experience is going to feel.
And if we make the judgement call that a food, person or experience isn’t going to be so great, we’re uninterested.
The problem is, sometimes we make the wrong call.
And I definitely made the wrong call when it came to Jesus Christ.
To me, for the most part, placing my faith in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of my sins meant that, when I died, I would avoid eternal punishment in Hell and, instead, go to Heaven. In other words, the primary benefit to my faith in Jesus Christ and identification as a Christian was, basically, “fire insurance.”
Now, don’t get me wrong, I also understood the additional benefits of being a Christian included being in a relationship with a God who was “there for you” and “heard your prayers” and those benefits were something I appreciated. Growing up with the idea that, in Christ, I had a Savior, Comforter, and Friend was very reassuring, but, if the truth be told, these truths very rarely had me in awe of God.
Growing up in church, I can’t ever recall being brought to a more full understanding of the deeper implications that my faith should have on my life. If anything, the more I attended church and listened to sermons, the more indebted I felt to God. The more guilty I felt for my inability to overcome sin. The more overwhelmed I felt at the pressure of having to be a “good Christian.”
And so I made a judgement call — Christianity was burdensome and unfulfilling.
But in hindsight, I can now see that my understanding was so limited. My view was so short-sighted. My comprehension was so elementary.
I allowed my negative experience with church to cause me to have a narrow view of God.
I assumed that what I had seen and experienced provided enough information for me to make a decision on who God was and what His purposes were.
In future blog posts, I will write about many of the beauties of the Christian message that have me more excited about my faith than I am about Brown Sugar Kitchen’s Chicken and Waffles! But in the mean time, I encourage you to think about the following questions:
Is it possible that your disinterest in God could be attributed to a bad experience or to a limited understanding of who God is? Is it possible that God and His love for humanity is much more amazing than you think? Is it possible that the judgement call you have made about God is wrong?