Photo by MaxStraeten on Morgue File.
As a kid, I could eat Spam with the best of them. If you are not familiar with the meat-product known as Spam, well, you have missed out!
I remember spending the night at my grandmother’s house and a frequent menu item was none other than Spam! My grandmother suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, so cooking was very difficult for her. But Spam, that was easy enough to make!
I remember the menu would consist of a few slices of Spam and a heaping helping of white beans. As a boy, this was good enough for me! I would eat until my stomach begged me to stop!
At that age, this meal was as good to me as any meal. I was not yet accustomed to steak dinners. I had never tasted crab legs or lobster at that point. I did not know what a good prime rib tasted like. To my simple taste buds Spam was where it was at!
Now that I am older, I have found Spam does not thrill me any longer. In fact, I do not remember the last time I ate Spam. I think I was fifteen or sixteen, which has been well over twenty years ago!
As I grew older, my taste buds changed. As I grew older, I my palate developed and I acquired tastes for other, higher quality things: such as, steak, lobster, prime rib, roasted chicken . . . etc.
There came a day when Spam just would not do any longer.
Yes, I could still eat it. If that is all I had, I would eat Spam and be happy for it; well, more or less! But, I doubt I would like it quite so well as I did as a child.
I had a conversation with a friend yesterday and we were discussing the life of discipleship. He mentioned how, as he has grown in Christ, he hungers for more understanding. The simple understandings he once had no longer satisfy his taste.
He wants to wade out deeper into God’s word. He has left the milk behind and now is gnawing on the meat. He has realized in a spiritual sense what I did: it comes to a point where Spam will no longer cut it. He is no longer content with the Spam understanding of God and his word, he wants the T-Bone, the Sirloin understanding!
Growing up can be difficult. Sometimes we struggle to find our place. We hunger and thirst for more of God’s word, for a deeper understanding of the things of God and sometimes feel as though it is an impossible quest.
As a preacher/teacher of God’s word I liken it to being at the beach. A person can stand on the sand, see the water, glean some things concerning the temperature, the feel, the saltiness, but never experience it directly. Others, closer to the water, may be just far enough to get their toes and feet wet. They have a better understanding of the water than those who are several feet back on the shore, but their understanding is still fairly limited. Then you have others who go out shin deep, or maybe knee deep. Still others waist deep or chest deep. Some even go out to swim in the depths.
God’s word is much the same way. Some who are ankle deep have a longing to wade out into the surf and experience the ocean at a greater depth.
Or, to return to my original analogy, some who are eating Spam have a hunger to bump up to more solid meat, say a nice, juicy top sirloin!
Caution is also needed here however. The person who has yet to learn to swim, needs to be careful about wading out too far too quickly. The person who is still young in the Lord and whose teeth are not yet fully in, needs to be careful about biting off more than they can chew.
As with physical growth, spiritual growth takes time and patience. It is a process. There may be growth spurts along the way. Then, there may be set-backs. There may be times of lingering. Prayer and patience are called for in these times.
So, if you are tired of Spam. If you feel Spam no longer is the diet you want, it may be time to find a nice helping of pot roast instead!