One of my favorite movies is the 2006 remake of the 1950 movie The Last Holiday. And one of my favorite scenes in that movie is when Georgia Byrd, in sharp contrast with a nearby table dripping with pretention, delights in the culinary creations of world-renown chef Didier, and orders his specials “with no substitutions.” When her meal arrives, she enjoys every bite with reckless abandon, reveling in the glorious feast from start to finish, much to the joy and delight of the chef himself.
As I’ve been reflecting upon what it means, practically speaking, to delight in the beauty and excellence of God’s character, I think it means taking the posture of Ms. Byrd toward Chef Didier. We so often come to God with prayers full of what we want or what we think we need, but those things, I think, are like “substitutions” for the grand splendor that God is ready to display. What would happen if instead of imposing our perceived desires upon the life we’ve been given, we simply ordered the “special,” with no “substitutions?”
When we only order what is on the menu, we miss the creativity of the chef, and when we try to substitute parts of the chef’s creation for what we think we will enjoy more or for what we think might be better for us, we miss the delight of being surprised by something unexpected. Incidentally, that is where I believe the glory of God may be found. It is difficult to know how to experience God’s infinite glory with our finite minds, but I think seeing God’s glory means enjoying the “special” as it was intended to be enjoyed, no “substitutions,” and with practice, we will learn to see God’s glory.
Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens.He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.James 1:17
Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Matthew 6:26
So today, I think I’ll order the special… with no substitutions.