Cheeseburger In Paradise


I used to be a passionate man. Some ex-wives used the word “intense”. I think they meant it as a compliment. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Over the course of 5+ decades, I have strongly desired and pursued work, relationships, work, alcohol, sex, work, home projects, vehicles, work, music (listening to and playing it), 12-step recovery, and work. Work has been a recurring and very strong theme for me. Because I tried to find my identity and value through success at work. But I tried to find it in the other things too.

These days, I find myself a bit weary and somewhat bored. Of all the things listed above that are still permissible, none holds much interest for long.

When I try to wrap this conundrum and putting a snappy bow on it, I find myself wanting to explain it with getting old(er), or perhaps so-called maturity, or “been there, done that… got this T-shirt” mentality. I have a lot of T-shirts.

Journaling about it (not one of my passions) led me to 2 Corinthians 5:17:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

I sense familiarity in this wording, the old has passed away. This is a common phrase we use for death: passed away. Could that mean these interests and experiences of the past are now dead to me? Woe is me… I spent a lot of time and money on those projects/guitars/vehicles/relationships!

Many years ago, in one of those fine-dining establishments I rarely visit, I was served a tiny glass of sorbet between courses. I was puzzled. What is the reason for the diminutive dessert? The waiter explained the sorbet was to “cleanse your palate”. Hmm. I didn’t realize my palate was dirty. This is why I rarely visit fine-dining restaurants.

Maybe this is a period of time for cleansing my palate? There are no jobs, women, home projects, or guitar solos on the horizon that I see or desire. It feels like when a doctor prescribed a low-fat, fiber-rich, sugarless, caffeine-free diet. “Then what’s the point of living? Hey, take your hands off my sugar!”

These temporal things are, well, temporary. That double bacon cheeseburger is singing my name… for about 10 minutes. Whether aging, experience, maturity, or some other cause… I find that it just isn’t enough to settle for 10 minutes in cheeseburger-heaven.

I have been learning, experientially and otherwise, that Jesus is everything. Sometimes it is a challenge to see it, or accept it, or apply it. But that doesn’t make it any less true. He is all I need. I want the cheeseburger. I need Jesus.

Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all. Colossians 3:11

The movie is titled The Passion Of The Christ for a good reason. Jesus’ passion was well-placed, laser-focused, and precisely in line with the Father’s. God’s passion is overwhelming. I pray we seek and find that Jesus is all. And in all. All things. All experiences. All passions. All.

Excuse me, I have to go now. I hear a singing cheeseburger.

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