Taste and See
Hubby and I just returned from a whirlwind vacation in Europe. And if I had to re-title this tour, it would be known as a “A Taste of Europe.” We covered 8 countries (itinerary says 9, but not really) in 21 days. That is monumental and exhausting. We stopped in most cities only one night. Just enough time to march through the city with a tour guide trying to communicate with us through audio headphones that crackled, chopped off words, and sometimes lost the sound altogether. We saw wondrous sculptures from ancient Rome, gilded palaces in some towns, manicured gardens replete with color, chocolate in Belgium, France, and Switzerland, and a taste of each country’s delicacies.
But a taste was not enough to feel like we had merged with the culture of each city if even for a short time. For the most part, we were observers gulping the life around us and looking at storybook wonders and buildings as wide-eyed children. Occasionally we made a momentary connection with someone who lived in these far-off lands, but ours was the story of luggage carriers and camera toters just passing through.
Don’t miss the memories we made, the laughter shared with old and new friends on our bus, the opportunity to see history come to life and tour sites that characterize cities (e.g. the Eiffel Tower), but we were exhausted and out of breath as we raced through this hectic pace.
When I returned home, I wondered how often our life in the Lord resembles one of the tours which stops briefly in one city. We never really become a part of the Lord’s culture or make a deep connection with Him because we are racing like rats to get to the next place, chore, person, Bible study, ………………………………(fill in the blank with your schedule or goal).
How much of the Lord have I tasted in those Bible studies where I crammed in the last few lessons before the meeting just so I would look like I was on top of the topic? What was my goal? Shouldn’t I have been looking and listening to what the Holy Spirit wanted to speak to me personally through the study–not just rush through it to get it done? Was I too much about moving on to the next city (next spiritual level) before I had even opened up to the growth the Lord had for me right where I was.
And all this racing around leads to a malnourished spiritual life–sort of like my flowers that keep dying from either not enough good food or too much good food and water. Am I just gulping down spiritual food but never tasting it. Never tasting the Lord or making the connection with Him?
As we end this writing period which has challenged me beyond my abilities, and I wasn’t even here for half of it, I ponder what will the Lord have me take away from this time. And how does He want me to connect in a deeper way with Him so that I can taste and see His goodness. He just wants a relationship with me, not a stack of studies, good works, or brief encounters that I have piled up as trophies from my hectic race through the spiritual course of life.
He desires to love us and bless us and to mold us into His children that reflect His Son to the world.
He’s given us an invitation to linger with Him, become part of Him and His culture, and taste the delicacies served to His children. This is one invitation we don’t want to decline.
“I will extol the Lord at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips.
I will glory in the Lord;
let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Glorify the Lord with me;
let us exalt his name together.
I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.
This poor man called, and the Lord heard him;
he saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,
and he delivers them.
Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
Fear the Lord, you his holy people,
for those who fear him lack nothing.
The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing”
Psalm 34:1-10 NIV
Linking with Essential Fridays, Faith Filled Friday, The Weekend Brew, Still Saturday, Sunday Stillness, Scripture and a Snapshot, Spiritual Sundays.
From My Heart to Yours,
Janis, that is THE BEST blog you have written, in my humble opinion. Not because I had been on your amazing trip…….but because it was very well written and showed your heart with the Lord. I need to connect with my Lord like you are doing. I see your growth in the Lord and your writing skill going up the Eiffel Tower!!!
Karen, I am humbled by your comment. Your relationship with the Lord is constant, genuine, and always faithful. And I am grateful to the Lord for bringing us together as close friends who share our “once-in-a-lifetime” travels as couples.
Love and Blessings,
Welcome back. I was running with you as I read your post. Puff. Puff. Understand totally what you mean if we can’t take the time to really hear the Lord during a Bible study. Better not even to try – we need to do it well to get the best out of it.
Did you get a chance to see my SIMPLE method of Bible Study? Drop over to see it if you didn’t.
Janis, I laughed at you running right next to me. Did I mention the wake-up calls at 6:15, the luggage out 45 minutes later, a half hour to shovel our breakfast down and hop on the bus? I’m hearing, “you’re in the Army now” (ha, ha). It was a great experience though.
I haven’t seen your SIMPLE method of Bible study so I’ll have to come by and see it.
Love seeing you here.
Beautifully put. I love your openness to learning from any situation the Lord puts you in. Thank you for this reminder to all of us to take the time to see what the Lord is trying to teach us.
we live in a weird that recognises achievement in the things we do. With God it is an achievement to be still and spend time with him. Thank you for this post a great reminder of priority.
Sounds like a trip full of wonders. I like your analogy–and encouragement to check our the pace of our activities. We need to linger in the Lord’s presence. Yes! Amen.
Janis, what a wonderful trip you had. Even if it was fast and furious, you did get to see some iconic sights. I’ve never been to Europe – never even been to the East Coast! So I did enjoy your photos and recollections.
But then, you topped it all off with a great lesson. Yes, sometimes we do get caught up in our hectic, busy lives – and the Lord can become a “pit stop” while we race around. We miss so much when we do that, though. And I don’t want to miss Him…
Thanks for making me ponder my pace – and reminding me that with Him, life is a daily walking by His side.
Janis, wonderful post. You were able to take in some beautiful sights on your trip! But you are so right, how much better when we can stop and linger and take it all in, slowly, like a cold drink we sip for refreshment.
You brought it around to a beautiful lesson for us all. May we not miss Him in the middle of all we do. May it all be about Him and for Him.
So wonderful you were able to visit so many places! Did you get over to the Baltic States? We lived in Latvia and Estonia for a while planting churches. I was able to see Finland, Sweden, Norway, Lithuania and Poland. Then when we could find a long layover we would try to see somewhere else in a “whirlwind” like you, lol. We spent five days in Rome, we were missionaries on a budget but we still got to see everything and two days in Paris. If it didn’t change our ticket price, we booked it! 🙂
But I sincerely loved how you brought this altogether…”He’s given us an invitation to linger with Him…” Oh, how true! May I take the time….
What a lovely post about a lovely vacation and about Bible truth! In this life, we can taste and see that God is good, but in glory, we will have eternity to fully savor the delight of His presence!
Thanks so much for visiting and commenting on Saved by Grace!
Your blog is a blessing and I am now following it, and I invite you to follow Saved by Grace also:
Love in Him,
I can feel the exhaustion as you made it back from your 21 day tour and your connection to how we go through daily life is spot on. I would love to hear what God is really thinking as He looks upon all of us rushing around trying to do one more thing. Your trip sounds exciting and your photos are beautiful. So glad to meet you today through The Weekend Brew link up. Blessings!
Your analogy is perfect! I definitely can flit here and there in my time with God instead of ABIDING in Him!
Janis, what and awesome trip! It is so true…so many never really engage with the life God has for them. Sometimes I see people year after year just settled and never really dig in and become a part. Thank you for this great post. I am stopping in from the Telll Me A Story linkup. Blessings, Cathy
We do rush through life when it would be best to stop and wonder at it all.
Thank you for sharing your awesome post with us here at “Tell Me a Story.”
Good point – very often we are rushing through spiritually, when we would know God so much better if we would stop and gaze in wonder and immerse ourselves in his presence.