Whenever I hear the word “feast,” my mind goes straight to Thanksgiving…endless food and sanctioned overindulgence. I knew my feast days during Lent weren’t to be like that, but I wasn’t sure what kind of feasting I would do.
When I woke up, and had all the options in the world for breakfast, what I really wanted was a smoothie. I thanked God for each ingredient as I put it into the blender. What an abundance of riches — soy milk, fresh strawberries, frozen blueberries, banana, Greek yogurt, various seeds (flax, hemp, chia) and a bit of almond butter. The thick, creamy concoction was a feast for the eyes (beautiful purple color) as well as the taste buds. After living on (essentially) rice and beans for the past 4 days, my heart welled up with gratitude for having this abundance, something I have taken for granted for a long time. I don’t think I’ll ever look at a smoothie the same way again.
Church was a feast in so many ways. Yes, there was food there, but I just had a couple of grapes. The true feast for me was Jesus Himself…partaking of His presence through song and prayer, loving one another, and of course, Communion — the most special feast of all. As I was leading worship, I looked out at our small flock and my heart welled up with gratitude and delight at the privilege of being part of this wonderful group of people who are living lives centered on Christ. The sound of all of our voices raised in song was a banquet for me, with the perfect dessert: building to the chorus of “Your Great Name” —
Jesus, worthy is the Lamb that was slain for us
Son of God and man, You are high and lifted up
And all the world will praise Your great Name…
After church, I met with one of my directees (I’m a spiritual director-in-training) and that hour was a feast, too. To be trusted to companion with someone on their spiritual journey is an incredible gift. It was a feast to listen to her heart and to listen to God’s heart and to watch their two hearts come together as He gently led the way, helping me to ask the right questions. I’m still learning so much, and I’m so grateful for the process, and the opportunity to practice this new vocation!
When I got home, I was hungry, but not grumbly. 🙂 Glenn and I decided to feast on some pizza (gluten-free for me) and catch up on American Idol. (I’m a sucker for singing competitions!) I wound up dozing a bit — feasting on sleep?! — and then we took a walk in the evening; it wasn’t cold, a light sweater was all that was needed. We took Dweezil with us and walked to Starbucks and sat outside and sipped our decaf drinks and let Dweezil romp beside us. I feasted on the joy of this little family…Glenn and me and our doggie. I breathed in the night air, sipped my cappuccino (another wonderful treat!) and my heart welled up with gratitude for this amazing day. Every place I went, I found a feast to enjoy. I am so grateful to have had my eyes opened to this. I have taken things for granted for far too long. I pray I am able to see the feasts that are set before me wherever I go and that I will partake of them with gusto and gratitude.
Right before I started writing this post, I looked up the definition of “feast.” After reading a couple of different versions of “a big meal,” this caught my eye:
To experience something with gratification or delight
Yes…that’s definitely what this first feast day was all about.
All glory to God!