15 minutes. Maybe 20 minutes. That’s the time limit doctors and scientists and people on the web say we get to stuff in all the goodies before our stomachs send desperate signals to our brain to stop already. My husband and I joke at buffets and Thanksgiving that we have 20 minutes. 20 minutes to stuff in as much food as we can before we won’t enjoy it anymore. Feasting. It’s really an art.
I think God’s people nailed it though. Days. They planned days of feasting, not just one day. They traveled and prepared and ate and rested for days. They even had whole years God told them to eat off the land–plant nothing–just eat what grows.
We have one day for Thanksgiving. One day, maybe two days off, for Christmas. A barbecue for the 4th of July. I really need days to enjoy the feast though. I require days to enjoy all the myriad desserts and side dishes.
A few weeks ago we took a sorrowful ride home from the airport after saying goodbyes to my parents. I’m always so happy to see them. We eagerly anticipate their visits. We plan, we dream, we expect. We prepare for the relational feast.
But, remember that 20 minute rule? At some point I’m faced with reality. I want to eat more at the familial relational table but I’m stuffed to bursting. The food is good but now I’m full. I know beyond shadow of a doubt I’ll be very, very hungry in the weeks and months afterwards. Famine will come. I’ll crave the feast intensely but at the present moment, I’m about to burst.
I hate that I get full, that my words get used up, that I crave routine even. Oh, to have a bigger stomach! Feasting without end! That’s what my soul craves with my spouse, my children, my family, my friends.
Maybe that’s what we’ll experience in heaven. No. I know that is the experience, the promise. A place for me in the family house. The family feast without end where I never get tired or full or stressed and neither does anyone else. All the children gathered at the table of the Lord released from our weakness and sin. Feasting without end.
What a day…what a day. I do long for it! The wait feels eternal right now. My hope and joy is that I know it is not.