Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Thing About TV Dinners

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth – Revelation 3:15-16

So, I’m in the kitchen at work warming up today’s frozen entrĂ©e for lunch. Todays offering is Lasagna Florentine…a “rich, five layer lasagna, with ricotta cheese, zucchini and spinach”, the box boasts. A highlighted section of the package tells me with great excitement, “Now with Garden-Style Marinara Sauce!” The photo on the cover looks like a dish I might be served at our neighborhood Italian restaurant. And, momentarily, I believe that the lunch I’ll be eating at my desk today is gonna be good….real good.

But then I snap back into reality and realize that this is a $2.00 TV dinner ($1.50 with coupon) and despite the skillful wording and lovely photography on the box, I’m still going to be eating food that has been in a cryogenic state for an unknown number of months (or years). As I peel back the plastic film and take my first bite, my disappointment is confirmed. No, it’s not the worst thing I’ve ever eaten but it isn’t “A Good Thing” as Martha would say.

As I’m chewing the last bite of an elastic noodle, God reminds me that my TV Dinner disappointment is kind of like the times that I’ve let Him down with my worship. I think about those Sunday mornings when I rush around trying to get myself and everyone ready, putting the girls in their pretty dresses so they’ll look nice for church. Husband Alton trims his beard, son Andrew cleans behind his ears, and I, sometimes, even manage to get some make-up on. We pile into the van, pull into the parking lot and head into church…even managing to smile and wave at the folks we pass by on the way in.

And then I, in all my “Sunday Morning Packaging”, step into the sanctuary to worship God. And, even though all the right words are coming out of my mouth, what’s on the inside doesn’t live up to the picture on the outside. I’m distracted, looking around at others, thinking about how bad someone’s singing is and quietly cracking an occasional joke to my husband. My worship, if you can even call it that, has an “off flavor”, it is mushy, flavorless and still partially frozen. Not exactly what you could call a fragrant offering, now is it?

So, I’ve decided that he next time I find myself in church mindlessly singing along to the music and nodding my head at the preacher, I’m going to ask myself this question, “Am I offering God a TV Dinner or a gourmet meal?”

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