What are you craving? What are you doing with your craving?
The definition of appetizer is:
A small dish of food or a drink taken before a meal or the main course of a meal to stimulate one's appetite.
Something that arouses or increases anticipation for what is to follow.
As I observed the first definition, what stood out to me was that appetizers stimulate one's appetite. It's interesting how warm baked bread with sweet butter or chips and salsa never fill me up, rather it activates my pallet for more. But we haven't even addressed the appetizer menu yet. You know, the mozzarella sticks, cheese and crackers, onion rings or even spinach dip, all great items that we delight in prior to the main course.
Besides the food, what I love most about appetizers is that while we wait on the entrée, we enjoy the people around us. We delight in great conversations, share our appetizers and relax while the chef prepares our order. Throughout our lives, we place many orders to God. We seek career opportunities, a spouse, help, tangible items or deliverance. Once we place our orders, we must also wait on Him to design it specifically for us. If we order a meal from a restaurant and receive it too fast, we risk the possibility that it is not cooked thoroughly or that the order was not seasoned well because it was rushed. There is a perfect timing for us to receive everything God has planned for us to have, yet instead of enjoying the appetizers (blessings) He gives us, we often complain while we wait.
The second definition of appetizer suggests that it arouses or increases our anticipation for what is to follow. Our appetizers consist of our abilities to wake up each day, a job to work, children or a spouse to keep us company, talents to share, resources to utilize, our health and strength and so much more. Those appetizers help take our minds off of waiting so we can enjoy what is before us. It's about shifting the mindset. If we don't like our jobs, the ability to generate income should be appreciated. Instead of complaining about how tough it is to raise children, substitute time tasking to enjoy them by spending quality time with them. Partake in your talents, take walks in the park, take hot bubble baths or do something that will ease your mind or generate new memories. Enjoy what you have so that you're prepared for what's to come. Knowing that God is taking care of us while we wait with hope and an expecting spirit helps us endure the season of wait.
In life, we make many choices. We could either starve ourselves until the main course arrives or enjoy what's provided while we wait so we can feast on the main course for days. We demonstrate starvation through ungratefulness, by counting our issues instead of our blessings and by focusing on what we don't have. Doing so makes us lose sight of what we have in front of us. In many instances, because of our lack of faith, the main course may never arrive. In the event God provides us with the very thing we desire prematurely- you know, the spouse, the generous promotion, the popularity- if we're not ready for it, we risk abusing it.
Many blessings don't last because we squander it all away. I am reminded of the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32). In this parable, the son demanded his inheritance from his father prematurely. When his father gave it to him, he went to a land away from his father and foolishly wasted everything he possessed. Eventually, he realized he needed to work to survive, so he got a job feeding pigs. As he compared his current situation to how much better things were under his father's care, he decided to go back home. In the parable, the son's impatience and irresponsibility caused him to bite off more than he could chew. Because he did not manage his wealth, when the famine entered the country, he had nothing to sustain him.
Additionally, one must discern what blessings are. Are your appetizers healthy or damaging? Lets say you may be waiting on a big break, but in the mean time you are enjoying your life carelessly. You're mishandling your finances, abusing your relationships, mistreating others, not living responsibly or not being a decent role model for your family and others. Yet, things are going quite well for you in the moment. The bible states, "Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out" (Proverbs 10:9). Eventually, those who choose to live irresponsibly will run out of luck.
When the famines of life enter our territory, do we posses enough peace, joy or even love? We often rush into things to the point where we allow our emotional excitement drive our actions rather than praying about our desires, aligning them with God's will and enjoying the journey. We're often in a rush to get to the main course that we never notice the ambiance of our environment, the people we encounter nor the wisdom we could gain in the process.
As much as our appetite grow for things we desire, can we honestly say our appetite for God is great? God's love towards is so great, He does not request so much from us. All He wants is to spend time with us. He wants us to crave Him as we crave others. He wants us to consider Him as He considers us. He wants us to trust Him as we trust others. What I've learned is we often crave the things that will only satisfy us in the moment, but not long-term.
So I ask again, what are you craving and what are you doing with your craving? God wants us to know that He will take us to the main course, but we must enjoy the appetizers life hands us. Don't skip what He's offering because your eyes are focused on what you don't have. Stay spiritually healthy, remain committed and faithful. Remember, your appetite-zers are your blessings. Your main course is on the way.
Check out the ingredients to this delicious and healthy Zucchini Slider appetizer.
1 lb Lean Ground Turkey
1/2 Teaspoon Garlic
1 Teaspoon Paprika
1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
American Cheese or Monterrey Cheese Cut into Quarters
Bacon (You may use turkey bacon instead)