Before a long day of errand running I was hoping that I could at least lessen the sure to come begrudged moans of despair arising from my children with a “pre-errand running” treat. It was a peace offering per se’ as I offered them a verbal run down of all that had to get done and why it was imperative that they be a part of it. Stone faced and eyebrows furrowed they didn’t even try to hide their less than enthusiastic demeanors. I had to squelch my own frustration at their outcries of injustice of being “dragged along” wishing that I could help them comprehend that I too was less than excited. Battling a head cold and awakening to a severe sinus headache there were other things that I would rather be doing on my day off as well; but the duty of life called and sometimes “ya just gotta do what ya gotta do.”
Normally reserving the “if your good” bribe for the end of our trip to be used as leverage at the sudden uprising of sibling disagreements and impatient complaints I decided to change things up a bit and begin our errand running spree with a quick stop at the newest ice cream dive in our little town.
Soft serve was the name of their game and with an abundance of choice toppings to choose from we piled our self-serve cups high. We chose all of our favorites and loaded back into the car to enjoy our self created delights. As new sounds arose from the back seat expressing the yumminess of their treats, I dug into my own creative creation. The chocolate concoction of soft serve covered in bits of oatmeal cream pie, chocolate chips and whipped cream; my taste buds tingled in anticipation of what I was about to experience. What disappointment greeted me when I realized after the first bite that due to my current state of severe congestion I could not even slightly detect any taste or flavor. Cold? Yes. Mushy? Yes. Sweet, delightful, and tangible comfort as I faced the full day of errand running ahead? Disappointingly, not even a little bit.
The $3.00 cup of cold mush I held in my hand now seemed tremendously overpriced. Without the flavor, without the taste it had lost all appeal.
It wasn’t that the ice cream and accompanying toppings had lost their taste, no; instead, it was that I had lost my ability to perceive that taste. Something within me prevented me from receiving the joy and delight that the ice cream had to offer.
The Lord and all that He has to offer are so much sweeter than any cup of comforting confection. The Hebrew word taste in Psalm 34:8 is translated as perceive. Merriam Webster defines perceive as “to become aware of through the senses.”
Our ability to perceive through our senses is a gift from the Lord. The beauty of autumn, a hug from a loved one, the sound of a sweet needed rain, the smell of a newborn baby; God and his goodness to us can be perceived in all of these things.
When we stop perceiving the Lord in each of these little things that are not so little we must take time to step back and remember that this is indicative of only our inability to perceive and not a lack of his goodness and faithfulness. Are you too busy, stressed or worried to properly perceive? Does life have you bogged down and congested?
Take time to seek the Lord and allow him to help you taste and see, in every place, that He is good.
Father, help me, at all times to properly perceive your goodness and faithfulness.