I love to go out and eat. It means I don't have to cook and better yet, I don't have to clean up. Some of the best words my husband can say are, "Where do you want to eat tonight." Of course I don't hear them enough, but they are still lovely words when he speaks them. There are different restaurants I like better than others.
Every now and then we are caught out and about come dinner time, but don't have time for a nice sit down break and have choose a local fast food drive through to keep us going. Not the best of food, but it is quick and will fill our bellies for a little while. I don't read the nutritional information because I would probably run for the nearest door, but it does give us enough whatever to keep going. Not all of us will be satisfied with the choices on the board above the local teen, but my children are usually satisfied with the little toy they find in the bottom of the sack. I know my husband and I will grab something a bit more when we arrive home. We will not starve that night, even if we are all not satisfied.
Other times we have a bit more time and find ourselves at an establishment where there is a sign in the entrance that reads, "Please wait to be seated." A nice gentle man (usually of Mexican decent because that is one of our favorites) sits us in the back corner where there is a large table to sit all eight of us. This food has a bit more nutritional value and we sit and enjoy the food spread before us. Depending on the establishment, the food is usually good enough to finish all of it and of course all are satisfied.
Then there is this restaurant that is one that my husband and I visit every now and then because the food is so good. If we could lick the plates in such a classy place I think we would. The food comes in big enough portions that when the waiter comes back to clear our plates and ask about dessert we have to evaluate how full our tummies are, but it is very tempting because they too are delicious. We have yet to be disappointed.
Of all of these choices, the first cost us the least in amount of time and money. The second is a bit more and takes a bit more money and time, but we still can get in and out in quick fashion. The last choice is a lot more money and take more time, but we also linger over dinner and enjoy the company as much as the food. It is also interesting to note of which our young children like. Of course their choices are just the opposite of mine. We also wouldn't take our very young children to our favorite fancy restaurant because it would be a waste of our time, money and energy.
"Feast upon the words," (2 Nephi 32:3) is much like going to the third choice. We have been asked often to feast and I would like take these three choices and compare and contrast them.
- Always there and most are open 24 hours
- Will serve just about any meal; breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Not the best for you, but will do and you could survive
- Quick preparations
- Come as you are dressed
- There are usually no free refills
- Cost you a little in your time and money
- Décor of the restaurant are sparse, if at all
Sit down restaurant:
- Not the fastest, but not the slowest
- Nutritious enough if you pick the right item
- Lingering if permitted, but sometimes someone is waiting for your table
- Many enjoy it more than the first
- Usually done with the family
- Preparation time is a bit more
- Clothing attire is hopefully a bit better than the first
- The décor and atmosphere are a giant step above the first choice
- Preparation time is much longer for both patron and chef
- Food is most delicious and often very nutritious
- Dinner is enjoyable
- Usually for a special occasion or need
- Company is most often a loved one
- Clothing attire is usually carefully chosen
- Water and bread are complimentary
- Reservations are sought after
- The décor and atmosphere in the restaurant are a bit more classy
All of these places give out food and drink. Each give refuge from the outside while we take a break from our daily care. Each make it possible for us to live another day. Each can be a special experience (just ask a little child who is going to McDonalds). Families are always welcome. Conversation can be head in each of the establishment.
Now let's go to The Gospels and the feeding of the thousands. Each author tells of a miracle of the Savior making a little fish and bread go a long way. In one account, five fishes and two loaves fed 5000 not counting the women and children, and you can only imagine how many people that must have been. He continues to set the table for us to eat. His table is never empty, He has 12 baskets after all were fed. He even says He is the "living bread" and "living water" with a promise that we will never hunger or thirst again, if we endure to the end. What a feast! (See Matthew 14: 17-21; John 6:51; John 4:10-11)
Unlike some of the fancy restaurants that require a tie and coat, this feast of our Father's requires only a broken heart and a contrite spirit. He also begs us to invite our family and friends to make it a family event. This isn't a rushed event, this is meal that we should linger at, taste it all, enjoy it all, discuss, and be filled. His restaurant is always open--scriptures never close their doors, and they are everywhere--as long as you can bow your head and say a prayer there is a feast, reservations are never needed for revelation. He encourages us all to attend when we can, well prepared and most enjoyable. There are some places He would like us to gather and feast with others; sacrament meeting, the temple, other church meetings and our home.
Sometimes you don't have the time to linger over a meal and you need a fast food variety because worldly matters press upon you. You have a family to care for, a job to be at, human bodies with frailties, and many other human and natural events that occur in our lives that prevent us from lingering at His table. Sometimes we need the "fast food" version of a feast. Sometimes all we can get off is a quick prayer, a five minute reading of the scriptures, sometimes you are lucky to do it with the other family members. But if done with the required broken heart and contrite spirit, it is acceptable to Him. Even though it is a quick nibble, you do feed the soul and oft times it hits the spot, for now.
Every now and then my family goes to a restaurant and sit for a little bit and enjoy a meal. I equate this to our Sunday worship. We linger just a little, but the next family wants our pew, so we move on. We do this as a family and never want to leave a person home. The atmosphere is a bit more beautiful. You notice the other families there too. This feast is a little more filling and we prepared for it a bit more. Someone usually greets you at the door, you are served at your place. Your tummy is a little more full and your appetite a little more satisfied.
Less frequently, but just as important is the times when we linger over a banquet in the temple. It doesn't happen as often as the fast food drive through window or the family restaurant, but when it does it is special and the food is always good. The menu choices are specialties of the Chef and you can not go wrong with any pick. Yes the time and money (for those who have to hire babysitters) if often more than we usually spend, but it is always worth it and you sometimes wish you could lick the plates because you don't want to miss a morsel of the delicious feast. You can not ask for a more beautiful dining room with servers who are there to assist you at every turn. You can not ask for a better spirit at the feast then when you walk through the doors of the temple. As a bonus every now and then you get to take your youth with you to give them a sampling of the feast the Lord has waiting for them when their understanding of the gospel is more mature.
Every now and then I get to sit and feast at a banquet, but for the most part, I'm just thankful for the chance to nourish my spirit anyway I can. I truly am thankful for every type of restaurant that Heavenly Father has given us to enjoy.