I was out to eat the other day and could not help notice a man at the table across the way. It was not so much his look as he was nicely dressed, most likely out with his wife and an average guy. But what caught my attention was how he was eating his meal. When the food came his eyes grew bigger as the plate was slid in front of him. As the waiter described in great detail how it was cooked, what exotic seasonings and sauces were used, accompanied with what looked to me as a mini sculpture made of uniquely placed vegetables, partnered with sliced glazed sweet potatoes (or at least that’s what it looked like to me), this guy hung on every word. Though this explanation was interesting to observe, it was still the man’s reaction as he heard the waiter explain the meal that was drawing me in. The man would even stop the waiter and ask him to say it again. His look grew even more excited as he mouthed through a huge smile, “wow,” “that’s wonderful,” “amazing,” “really all that work just for me.” The man paused still wide-eyed with sheer excitement on his face as he gazed at each item on his plate. He paused (I don’t think he prayed but just let this culinary master piece soak in) and then as if in slow motion he took his fork and knife and cut a portion of his main course, not too big and not too dainty, he slowly drew it to his open mouth. I caught myself mimicking his every move. He paused, closed his mouth and angled the morsel just under his nose, closed his eyes and took in a deep breath, wafting in the food’s fragrance. His fork when back to the plate, held there suspended over the plate as leaned back in his chair and exhaled with a breathy “oh that smells so good!” He paused again and the slow journey to his mouth began again. My mouth was watering! Again he halted his progress to take a quick whiff and methodically placed the bite in his mouth taking back his empty fork and slowly chewed his food amidst smiles and a few grunts of pleasure. After what seemed to be many minutes he swallowed. This went on with many of his bites being just as methodical.
Curiosity was pouring out of me. Is this his last meal? Did he just come off a fast? Can he finally taste? Is he just weird? Has he been out of country and not tasted this kind of food and really missed his favorite meal? Well, a clue came as his wife (or whatever relation she was to him) said, “You certainly are enjoying this.” His answer struck me. He said, “I tend to eat way to fast and never really enjoy my food, so tonight I want to celebrate every bite.” Celebrate?! Celebrate?!
Yes, celebrate. It got me thinking about my own life and how I tend to just put the throttle down and plow, push, drive, get more done on my list of stuff to do, accomplish, achieve, be productive, and when I’m done with one project, it’s off to the next. I rarely stop and ‘celebrate every bite.’ You see, one of my problems (yes there is a list) is that I get going so fast and on to the next thing that I don’t even pause to celebrate. Even right now as I am writing this email I just downed a few bite-size candy bars without even savoring their wonderful unique flavors. (Maybe I better try again and delight in their confectionary wonder…hum, which one…oh yeah… the Milky Way…smooth caramel…rich chocolate…light and fluffy nougat…yes…that’s it…hummmmm…can you tell my eyes are closed enjoying each of those amazing flavors…there is a unique celebration going on in my mouth right now.) Sorry, got carried away. But, isn’t that so true that we strive, and drive, and stress, and get ourselves so worked up that we don’t stop and celebrate accomplishments, important milestone, the wonders of life, a good meal, or great friends. Sure we have birthday parties, anniversaries, and retirement parties, but do we still let the joy of the moment soak in.
I can’t help but think that’s what David of the Bible was thinking as he penned Psalm 19.
Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
You can almost see David stop one starlit night and gaze up at the heavens, seeking the brilliant lights, maybe a shooting star, and because of his closeness to God, his thoughts moved him to celebrate God, so much so that he wrote it out so we all could celebrate God as well.
Psalm 19:2-6 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens He has pitched a tent for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat.
You can feel the honor, respect, and love David has for God. Read the rest of the psalm yourself and let this celebration of God cause you to stop and let this festival of the Father cause you to smile and eye twinkle with how wonderful our God is.
Celebration takes time…sometimes just a moment, but it does take time. Another Psalmist speaks for God in saying:
Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Be still, stop and celebrate. Let the amazing reality of God and all that He has blessed us with be celebrated. I think I might eat a little slower tonight, and maybe one more chocolate!
Seeking to Celebrate more with you,