The Buffet

March 5, 2008 at 8:24 am Leave a comment

Can you handle another observation from Florida? My wife, Lorinda, and I have discovered the world of the buffet down here. We have only gone to five, but have learned we are gluttons and after a bloated, lousy night’s sleep, we are disgusted with ourselves, but are lured back by the cheap prices. We were invited out to a $4.99 pizza buffet one night but actually had to turn it down because we were still bloated/disgusted about our weakness the previous day. We go in with good intentions, but they quickly dissolve when we see the vast array of goodies that we “need” to “sample.” I suspect that if there is a “devil,” he (or she) runs a buffet. Hmmmm…. I wonder: What would Jesus do at a buffet? Would he control himself? Go vegetarian? Would he pass by the ribs/ham/pork/sausages, or would he at least be tempted? Would he sit at a table with the seedier element? Was Jesus ever bloated or even hung-over? So many questions.Last night, we happened to be in the neighbourhood of a buffet we had been told about, so we dropped in for supper. What a zoo. We got right in, but by the time we went to the buffet table, the line up was out the door. The name of the place was the Golden Corral and that was appropriate, because people were herded in to graze the buffet in a long line, as cattle at the trough. My particular downfall this night was pulled pork but I’m sure the round of prime rib, then charbroiled steak, followed by pie, cookies and carrot cake didn’t help my sleep. Ever the observer of the human animal, I studied the crowd. What I noticed, although this buffet was a step up from others ($9.99 per person), is that many less affluent looking families were here to feed themselves. Perhaps this was the one night of the week where they forego their meager meal at home, and really fill their boots with good and plentiful food. It appeared to be a break for Mom, a treat for the kids and a chance for some family time.

This brings me to another buffet that we have visited twice. This buffet is in a somewhat dilapidated plaza, or mall as they seem to call them, and the buffet itself is worn around the edges, but at 4:00 in the afternoon it was full and, for the most part, the customers were somewhat dilapidated too. The admission price was a very reasonable $6.49 per person, which included everything. “Everything” encompassed a long salad bar, a well stocked hot/cold dessert bar and all kinds of beverages, but the real story is the hot table and carvery. There was a long table with beef, ham and turkey along with the fixings as well as spareribs, sausage, pizza and three types of fried chicken along with biscuits and buns. You can trust me when I tell you that it was all good too. The story with this restaurant is, it seems to have a crowd of regulars, even daily attendees. There is a lot of visiting back and forth between tables and many familiar nods as people move about. The general ragged look of the customers indicates to me that they are even less affluent than at he “corral.” Some of the regulars would even be termed “eccentric” judging by their clothing and behavior. What a slice of humanity. For these regulars, this is obviously an inexpensive way for a good daily meal. Then my wandering mind thought of the owner of this establishment. He owns about three similar operations spread around the area and I wondered how it is possible to make money at these prices. Then I pondered if this was some kind of mission, knowing he is feeding the needy and marginalized and not worrying about profit. What a wonderful opportunity for these challenged folks. Would Jesus run a buffet to feed the needy? Would he use the low price to protect their dignity? Hmmm… and I thought buffets were the instrument of the devil…

This brings me to the Spirit. I think the people reading this would agree that the spirit encompasses all of creation, all of this realm of time and space. That means that this same Spirit encompasses both good and bad; light and dark (if you don’t agree, please comment). So, this same Spirit runs both buffets! It is how we use the buffet that indicates which influence we follow. As in life, we can choose to take just enough and be glad for the opportunity, or we can gorge ourselves to our ultimate destruction. Makes one think, while waiting for the bloat to subside.


Entry filed under: Wrestling With God.

Intelligent Design? Jesus Was a Sailor

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