A Place at the Table: Day 23

Friday – I made a tasty fried rice with chopped spinach, tomatoes, and onions finished with soy sauce and sesame oil. I wasn’t sure at first how it would turn out, since these are not traditional fried rice ingredients; but I think it turned out well!  It may become a new fast standard, in fact.

The tomatoes and spinach haven’t stretched very far. I’ve used them sparingly but I only have maybe a couple of tablespoons of each left.  The spinach, especially, has gone quickly.  Once it thawed and I strained the water out, there wasn’t a lot to begin with.  I’ll need to re-evaluate those choices going forward.

This has been my most distracted afternoon since week one.  Before I left home to study, we decided to finally go out for my  belated birthday dinner tonight.  I have been thinking about dinner all afternoon!  I ate the fried rice for a late breakfast around 11:00am. I stopped by church and ate a peanut butter and banana sandwich for lunch around 01:00pm.  I thought doing my meals in reverse order might help, actually, since there is more protein in the peanut butter.  It didn’t help at all. I couldn’t get the imminent smells, sights, sounds, and tastes of the Silver Diner out of my head. I had to get up several times to walk around, get a drink of water, pray, and try to refocus.  Wow.  It’s not like I don’t have a nice dinner every night – I certainly do! – or that the Silver Diner is my all-time favorite place in the world to eat – that would be Lexington Barbecue.  (Quick aside /free plug for SD, though: they source fresh, natural, and local food.  They have gluten free options. They have great burgers.  And their gluten-free chocolate brownie sundae ROCKS!  You should try the bison, too.)

I think my gastronomic wanderlust has more to do with the psychology of fasting and the nature of temptation. We are all the children of Adam and Eve.  No matter how much is around us (and allowed to us), our hearts hone in on the thing(s) that we cannot have – or do not have right now.  This is why I think silent prayer is so important for our spiritual lives. We need space and opportunity to hear God’s still, small voice speaking words of love and grace to us in the midst of our struggles. We also need space and opportunity to hear the tell-tell sounds of the serpent lurking nearby, even in our noblest endeavors.

Thankfully, I made it through – and I had a fabulous meal with my family.

Lord, continue to expand our horizons.  But help us not to overlook the good gifts and blessings all around us even as we seek to go further, deeper, and higher in life – and in faith.  Amen.


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