Sermon "Skill in Your Hand & God in Your Heart"

Sunday, January 27, 2013

One Bite at a Time

"So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today." Matthew 6:34 (NLT)

One of my favorite foods is steak. OOo, I tell ya, there's nothing much like a tender, juicy, well-seasoned, perfectly cooked steak. Because I love steak so much, I have had all kinds from many restaurants. I've had the juicy and the dry; the tender and the tough; I've eaten sirloin and short loin, rib-eye and round steak, t-bone and tenderloin, flank steak and filet mignon. I've eaten in a restaurant where they bring raw cuts of meat out on a platter for your to select. I've been in one where you pick your own and cook it yourself on a huge, open-hearth grill in the middle of the restaurant (there you leave with a full belly and a slight tan). I've even mastered cooking a decent one myself either fried in a pan, broiled in the oven or on the grill over charcoal. And of all the places I have had a steak, probably my favorite is the sirloin my father-in-law cooks on his backyard grill, and strangely enough the second is the cheap strip steak you find at the Waffle House. Go figure.

I have loved steak from as young as I can remember, though we didn't eat it that often. But in the times we did, I had to learn a hard, but life-saving lesson. See, I would relish the flavor of a steak so much that I would lop off a pretty huge piece and stuff it in my mouth. Then I would be sitting there trying to decide if I was going to chew on that thing for another 10 minutes, or was I going to take my chances and try to swallow it. Though it may seem fitting since I love it so much that I would leave this world with a wedge of steak stuck in my throat, but I didn't want to go out like that...not that soon any way. So I learned that no matter if it was a juicy, delicious steak, or a dry and not so delicious one, I had to slow it down, cut smaller pieces, and eat it one bite at a time.

You know I have come to appreciate that God can teach me using any and everything in life as an example, and He has shown me that life can be a lot like eating steak. Sometimes it can be savory and tender, other times tough and dry. Sometimes our situations may be the cuts we have chosen or those that are forced upon us.  But either way, we have to learn how to play the hand we've been dealt, or should I say, to eat the steak we have been served. And the best way to do that bite at a time.

In Matthew 6, not only was Jesus speaking to His disciples, but He was also speaking to us when He said: "Don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today". That is helpful to me because sometimes whether life at the moment is good or bad, easy or hard, I tend to want to look way down the road to figure out what's going to happen. I approach it with the idea that I'm just doing the sensible, and adult duty of planning ahead. But what ends up happening is that in the multiple scenarios that I imagine tomorrow will bring, I start to worry about them. Then I find myself trying to eat what's on my plate today, and to chew on what I think will be there tomorrow, and I start to choke on it. And so did His disciples. They had Jesus right beside them, and I have Him right inside me, yet we have both fallen weary under the weight of worry.  And the Lord's instruction to them and to me, and to you if you need it, Me! He said for us to not worry about our life; the birds of the air and the lilies of the valley don't, and neither should we. He has promised that He will never put more on us than we can bear, so we should stop trying to take more on us than we can bear. We should enjoy the blessings of every moment; we should savor the flavor of every day, and we do that by taking one bite at a time.

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