Enjoy appetizers, stay hungry for main course

By Gerry Lewis | Published Saturday, August 18, 2018

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Appetizers. Hors d’oevre. Finger foods. Antipasto.

Did you know that none of these is intended to fill you up or to substitute for the main course?

In our over-indulgent culture where large portion sizes are king, we often miss the intent of the appetizer. The appetizer is intended to stimulate the senses in preparation for the main course and give diners an enjoyable atmosphere for conversation and shared experience while the main course is being crafted by the chef.

The appetizer is not intended to substitute for the main course by fully satisfying all appetites or fill time and give diners something cheap and quick to munch on while waiting for the main course.

Have you ever thought of the experiences of earth as the appetizer for heaven’s main course? Ponder that with me for a moment.

Our lives are not given to us so that we will be completely and ultimately fulfilled. Life’s best experiences are intended to create an appetite for the eternal. Our lives are also not given to us as time-fillers to simply be endured and to give us something to do while we are waiting to go to heaven.

I grieve for those for whom this life is the best there is. They have no hunger for eternity and have made no preparations. Apart from faith in Jesus, they have no place at the table of heaven.

Heaven’s banquet table takes reservations, but there is no waiting list.

I’m also sad for those who can’t seem to fully enjoy the appetizers God has given us. It’s as if, once their reservations are made, they are just trying to endure until the banquet room doors open.

Sometimes they are working hard to invite other people to make their banquet reservations, but they can’t imagine that there is any other good purpose to be had in the world of appetizers.

“Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.” (1 Corinthians 13:12, New Living Translation)

The appetizers, here and now, give us hints into the creativity of the Master Chef.

At His banquet table, there and then, we will see Him up close, face to face. We will experience the ultimate expression of all that He is through the main course He has prepared for us.

My plan is to sample and enjoy all the delicacies He provides in the appetizer room, and then step into the banquet hall of heaven to taste new delicacies that I’ve never even imagined.

Your life matters, here and now and there and then. How will you fully enjoy His appetizers today, even as you understand that you cannot and should not be ultimately satisfied by them?

Dr. Gerry Lewis, author, blogger, church consultant and leadership coach, serves as executive director of the Harvest Baptist Association in Decatur.

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