5 days with ONLY tap water (no coffee or sodas), oatmeal, cream of wheat, rice & beans, a couple of ounces of chicken, beef or fish with a sporadic few veggies thrown in doesn’t seem all that hard, does it? And why do it?
I’ll get to the why in just a moment...but before I do, as I was walking the aisles of my local grocery store preparing for the 5-day Food Challenge as an active participant in this series, “Hope Lives”, I was overwhelmed with the options and choices available for something as simple as OATMEAL. Not only were there numerous brands, but the varieties of selection between cinnamon, maple sugar, apple spice, vanilla, to only name a few were amazing!
I couldn’t help but wonder, as ALL I wanted to purchase was just plain, ordinary oatmeal, what would it be like NOT to have any; not cinnamon, not apple spice, not even the plain, ordinary kind, just none, nada, nothing. On this particular day, I stood there in aisle 7 silent, realizing I have NO idea what it’s like for ‘most’ in this world. I’d like to believe I can identify, but my reality is SO FAR from the majority in our world. I could go 30 days and still not fully know or grasp the horrible, daily reality of so many.
I made a commitment to God that day in the store that I would take each day of the 5 days with GREAT joy! There would be no whining or complaining or moaning as I’m often prone to, but I would enter into each day with gladness. Why? Well, for me this is only an limited experience, yet for others it’s their life.
So why have we asked you to do this for 5-days? Gratefulness and thankfulness for the plenty we have is one reason. Awareness of the plight of so many in this world who die from malnutrition or the lack of water is another motive behind this all. But in this case, there’s something more. All the money you have saved because you didn’t buy coffee or appetizers or lavish lunches or dinners, THIS weekend we will take up a special offering and ALL the dollars will go to paying for the roughly 300,000+ meals that we packed as a church last week.
As your pastor, I thank you in advance for what you will give, because of what you didn’t spend!
See you this weekend,
P.S. Two things: first, some have told me that they “caved” and didn’t make it to day 2. Well...give it another try! You’ll be glad you did. Second, for those with children or students, they are to bring back their M&M containers to The Crossing filled with quarters, THIS WEEKEND!