In 1981, I had gallbladder surgery. The defective organ had infected my body and I spent 8 days in the hospital. The infection robbed me of my appetite. Even the smell of food made me sick. You know me, I was worried, thought my appetite was gone forever. About one week after I got home, my appetite returned with a vengeance. I love to eat but the pleasure of eating is in the taste. I don’t enjoy eating things that taste bad. I substitute a protein shake for one of my daily meals: I like the chocolate flavored shakes. June decided I needed a change and she brought me a twelve pack of vanilla and they taste like Maalox. I will drink them eventually but I’m not looking forward to it.
Sometimes life works in the same fashion, we lose our taste for things we once enjoyed. Back in the 70’s, I was a huge Boston Celtic fan. I loved watching Dave Cowens, John Hav-a-wreck, Jo Jo White and Paul Silas play basketball. Is Labron better than these old guys? Probably but I wouldn’t give you a plug nickel to see him play. I have lost my taste for the NBA. I get no enjoyment from watching. The same can be said of the NFL and I never dreamed such a thing would happen. Twenty-five years ago, I would have bet against it but it happened. When we lose our taste, as is the case when your taking chemo, we simple chew and swallow, we go through the motions. We eat to live but we have no pleasure in it. JOY is to life what taste is to food. Can we eat without tasting? Sure! Can we live without enjoying life? The answer is yes, we can and do but we don’t have to. Jesus didn’t die just to satisfy the requirements of the law, He also died to give us JOY…Not just existence but abundant life. Jesus said in John 15…If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love. In the same way, I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy will be in you. I also want your joy to be complete.
Why don’t you take a moment to think about the things you truly enjoy. When I was a kid, I didn’t like the taste of squash or butter beans and now I love both. Taste changes with time. Many years ago, I love to play ball and run but I’ve lost my taste for those things. Now I enjoy preaching, bible study and my bible study class on Sunday morning. I enjoy helping others, especially doing yard work. I love prayer meetings, fellowship with other believers, spending time with my wife, children and grands, tractors, gardening, Gunsmoke and of course eating. My venue of relaxation and pure delight is a major league baseball game. It is the one sport that is much better in person: TV does not do baseball justice. I am thankful that June and I share this passion together. She doesn’t like my music but she is good company at a baseball game. Thank God for taste, amen! It would be bad if we didn’t enjoy anything. MARCH MADNESS would have made my list a few years ago but there are too many commercials: I just can’t take all the commercials. I quit going to Alabama games due to TV timeouts, narrow seats and too many people. Thank God, at a major league baseball game there are no TV timeouts. Not yet!
I ran a chain saw most of the day yesterday so if I hobble to the pulpit Sunday, you’ll know why. Our LCBS lesson for Sunday is great! Best one so far in this book.