Many years ago there was a street preacher in New Orleans. His name was Bob (something). He used to cause quite a stir preaching and calling people out over their sins and the influences of alcohol.
He never had a problem going public with their names. He called a beer company name and called them liars. He accused them of breaking the “truth in advertising law” and sued them. They assured him he would lose in court. After all they had a battery of legal experts and he was going to plead his own case.
It was quite highly publicized at the time and finally there came a time of arbitration. The defense lawyers sat with him and asked him who his witnesses would be. He told them he was bringing a corpse from the local funeral home. They laughed and jokingly asked “And what do you expect to gain by this”? Bob said.”Your commercial says “Where there is life, there’s Bud”. I am going to bring a corpse and a case of Bud. I am just simply going to pop and pour. If that dead man don’t get up, you lose”. As I recall the ad was pulled the next day and Preacher Bob was given a settlement. He then got caught up in some preacher scandal and ……whatever….
Another commercial that sticks in my mind was one where a man is looking for something to drink that would be nutritious. He drinks some kind of drink then slaps his head and says “wow, I could have had a V-8!” He recognizes that he settled for refreshment over nutrition.
In our world we have done much the same as the V-8 guy. We are in need of nutrition spiritually, physically, emotionally, and relationally. Our lives are shallow and painful. Stress is at all time high levels and people are driving themselves crazy looking for something that will satiate their desires and needs. And so they look for refreshment instead of nutrition.
My doctor recently told me to exercise more. I told him I was tired a lot. He said “Ron, the best time to exercise is when you are tired. It gets the blood moving again, raises the heartbeat, drives oxygen to the muscles and organs. It makes you “feel” again instead of exist”. He is a good doctor. And he was right. It is when I am eating a proper diet and exercising that I see the difference in my life and my stress level.
We spend our lives trying to escape the “non-feeling of existence” We just live from day to day. We find things to be passionate about emotionally but not experientially. I remember the days when going to church was an experience to enjoy and participate in. It was rewarding and uplifting. Now all I hear is “No sermon should be more than 20 minutes long.” My recently departed friend, Elva Howard would have laughed you under the table for that one.
We try so hard to assuage our guilt and our condemnation with “refreshment” but eschew the idea of nutrition. We want deeply to be whole, but we spit out the life giving source and settle for sugar water.
One day many of us will slap our head and exclaim. Wow, I could have had a V-8. I hope it won’t be , as the old folks used to say “everlasting too late”.
Now go eat your veggies.