"Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy?"
I went on this vacation where the meals were free. It was my first such experience. Three meals a day? Anything you want off the menu? Really?
Well, not anything, of course, they explained politely. You could choose a salad or an appetizer, one entrée and one dessert. You couldn't order the whole menu at once, they explained, as if to an imbecile.
But still, you could have all that? For lunch and for dinner? Are you kidding me?
And don't even get me started on breakfast. You could have an appetizer for breakfast too. Although they called it a fruit cup. But still.
And any kind of juice, and coffee too. Was there no end to their generosity? Well, it turns out there was. They drew the line at alcohol. You had to pay for that.
So what effect did all this free food have on me? Well, for the first few days I truly did order one of everything I could have at every meal. But after a while, it just became too much. Besides, it finally occurred to me that I had actually paid for all this already in the cost of the vacation. So it wasn't free at all.
That sort of took the fun out of it. Especially when I started noticing that as a relatively small person, I was probably paying for a lot of other people's food as well.
Sometimes we get confused about what is free and what we have already paid for. God's grace is free. Pretty much everything else comes with a price tag. So watch what you eat. Not everything that is offered is worth having.
This Sunday, make me grateful for what is worth having and wise about what is not. Amen.
Order Spring Cleaning: 2013 Lent Devotionals - new from the Stillspeaking Writers' Group and other favorite UCC writers. Lent starts Feb. 13.