Yesterday I had lunch with a friend at a local hot spot. The place was packed and ladies were waiting for tables. This trendy café boasts acid-washed concrete floors and industrial lighting. The menu offers soups, salads, sandwiches, wraps, and hunks of desserts that are as big as hubcaps.
I ordered a “Turkey-Avocado wrap with spinach, tomatoes, and light ranch dressing” for $7.95. When I asked the waiter if fruit or chips came with the wrap he had to check. The answer? Two pieces of pineapple. Hmm? That should have sent up red flag warnings.
Twenty minutes later our food arrived. My wrap was huge! It was stuffed! With lots and lots of fresh spinach. There was one slice of extremely thin turkey breast and one slice of avocado about a quarter inch wide. This menu item needs to be renamed “Spinach wrap with a hint of turkey and avocado.”
Before I took the first bite I thought, “If I had wanted salad I would have ordered salad.” And when I finished the first half I muttered, “I’m going to have to eat dinner at 2:30.” Before I tackled the second half I snagged the waiter and asked for a little turkey and avocado to put on my Turkey-Avocado wrap. To be fair he quickly brought a small plate with a few slices of turkey and avocado. Much better.
Sometimes Christianity is like yesterday’s Turkey-Avocado wrap at the local hot spot. We decorate it with all the latest styles and fads to make it appealing to the masses. We fill the menu with great sounding fare. Then we serve up food that has little meat, no real substance. It’s just feel-good fluff.
I buy into it too. But what we need is real discipleship. Submission and obedience to Christ. Deep study on the truths of God’s Word. Commitment, accountability, and servanthood. But too often what we get is just what is easy and marketable. “Don’t ask too much.” “Don’t tell them it will be hard.” “Don’t let on there may be sacrifices.”
Is that really what we want? Deep down, don’t we want to be a part of something big? Something that has eternal purpose? Jesus certainly didn’t pull any punches.
“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?” Luke 9:23-25.
How would you describe your discipleship, your walk with Jesus? Is there real substance or is it mostly filler? For me, I pray for substance. But some days there’s a bit too much spinach.