Reheated and Recycled
Standing at the stove I turned and looked out the window. Mindlessly, I studied the snow, and listened to the familiar hum. The music of the microwave told me my coffee was being reheated, warmed over. It was no longer fresh, and it needed to be reheated. The end of the morning came before the need for caffeine abated. My coffee would be drinkable - but not fresh. The product of the microwave would be doable but not delightful. Reheated. (And quick.)
This reminds me of another word – recycled.
I became a pupil in the classroom of recycling when we lived in Germany. Hand it to the Germans; in the early 1980’s, this nation took the lead and established itself on the cutting edge of the global recycling movement. They successfully (operative word being successfully) trained an entire nation in the nuances of recycling.
Back then, as domestic-in-chief, I bought in, and as a household, we participated – thoroughly. Red bins for this, yellow bins for that, and green bins for the other. On ski slopes, in schools, in cities, in villages, recycling was rampant. And I marshaled our troops to march to the recycling beat.
Now in America, I watch - and participate - as our nation learns to become a nation of recyclers.
However, there is yet another arena where we face reheated and recycled. Follow me here.
Spiritually speaking, large portions of our diet with God and His Word can subtly come to us reheated and recycled. By this I mean we take what another has learned, and we make it a disproportionate share of our diet. Though this is appropriate, appreciated, and certainly has its place, this is no substitute for fresh and first.
Fresh and First are discovered in time alone with God - just the two of us - God and me. I listen firsthand to God; I learn firsthand from God.
What I glean is fresh, not reheated; first, not recycled. Fresh and First remove the third party, eliminating someone in between God and me. Not reheated: warming over what someone else learned and reheated to serve to me. Not recycled: what someone else says that God said.
Granted, the reheat-recycle approach for our spiritual nutrition is tempting, since it is fast and convenient. But I believe our souls are starving for Fresh and First.
Truthfully, the pursuit of intimacy with Jesus behooves us to pursue Fresh and First. Fresh and First require time and planning. And longing… Matthew 5:6 tells us, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. They shall be filled.”
Living with eternal intentionality:
How would you like to make Fresh and First, not reheated and recycled, a focus of your spiritual diet this week?