Taste and See
by Pastor teer hardy
When we first moved to Arlington, when I was first appointed to Mount Olivet, we found ourselves full of wonder and awe. As the movers began to off-load the truck and we began to put all of our treasures in their proper place we began to dream, we began to imagine what life would be like in our new home, at a new church, in a new community, in new schools, and in a new barbershop.
At some point, I'm not quite sure when the wonder and awe we brought with us gave way to the daily grind of Arlington. To be clear, our hearts had not become hardened, we had not put up a wall around ourselves because of the people of Arlington or because of Mount Olivet. Our daily grind in Arlington included packing lunches, rushing out the door to the school bus, sitting in traffic for reasons I still am not quite sure of, and a trading afternoon hiking trips for baseball games and practice.
We were not opposed to wondering and exploring the new possibilities around us, instead, our attention was grabbed by other things - just as important for the season of life we were living in.
We did not retreat to the bleachers, becoming spectators as others lived their lives. No, we were now moving too quickly, constantly look for what was next, more process than wonder. Our arms were not crossed, disgusted by the movement of life around us. Instead, we were fully caught up in this movement. We were all-in in this new life we were creating in Arlington.
The Psalmist wrote, "Taste and see how good the Lord is! The one who takes refuge in him is truly happy!"
These two actions require a pause.
Tasting what you are eating, to really notice the flavors requires intentionality. To savor a fine meal takes time. I remember when I was in Italy last year and Allison and I would sit down to dinner. These meals were not fast. We sat. We tasted. To taste the goodness of God we must slow down. We pause for a moment.
The same is true in seeing the world around us. Like many reading this devotional, we have gone on more family walks over the past three weeks than we ever have during the day. Morning, afternoon, and evening walks offer us a chance to see our neighborhood, to notice that new families have moved into the community and see trees and flowers as they bloom.
To taste and see is to realize that God is near. God is so near in fact, that our breath, is God's presence in our bodies. Divine breath filling our lungs, sustaining us for yet another day.
We are invited by Christ to taste and see the goodness of God and to experience the newness of God's handiwork among us. In tasting and seeing the goodness of God we can become overwhelmed in the best possible way by the world around us. When we pause for a moment, pausing the daily grind and allowing ourselves to wander and wonder our eyes are opened, our senses heightened, and the goodness of God is revealed.
The goodness of God has always been with us. Breath, growth, and beauty are always around us.
This Monday of Holy Week, during a forced pause of life, I invite you to wander and wonder, to taste and see. The goodness of God is yours. The price will be paid on Friday and we will celebrate the fullness of God's goodness and glory on Easter.
In the meantime, taste and see.