Our granddaughter leaves today (sob, sob!). Her Dad arrived yesterday and we have enjoyed a wonderful time with him these past 24 hours, but he must get back home soon so they are leaving to make the return trip back to Ohio.
Our granddaughter Addyson has visited with us for an extended time every summer since we have moved to “The Sunshine State”. She has come for weeks at a time and with each visit, more traditions develop with her. A couple of weeks ago, I shared with you some of the traditions we have established, including golf cart rides with grandpa to Dunkin Donuts, swimming, game-playing into the wee hours of the morning (that’s 9:30 p.m. for the uninitiated) and a new one this year — ukulele-playing with grandma.
In addition to the ukulele playing, there is another tradition that has been established in the past, but firmly took root this year as well — a food tasting contest. During these annual times of Addyson’s stay with us, the contest involved the three of us tasting the same foods from several different sources and rating them. We have had the joy of together comparing the tastes of several different types of foods. For a couple of years we tried apples, from Golden Delicious to Gala, from Fuji to Honey Crisp. We would purchase one apple a week and after dinner one night, divide that apple into three portions. Each of us would taste our portion of the apple and rate it on a scale from one to 10. High scores of 30 points are rare.
This year we decided to do the same thing with pizza. The effect was the same, although it is much more expensive to buy one pizza than it is to buy one apple. In each restaurant, we ordered a large pizza with the same two ingredients. The first three weeks of her visit, we ate dinner at three different pizza restaurants. This last week of her visit, we have eaten pizza out four times at four other restaurants. We had seven different restaurants to compare. This tradition is a good one, and we have already determined what next year’s contest will be — tasting ice cream!
Our son Andrew, Addyson’s dad, works as a manager for one of the large members-only clubs in the Cincinnati metropolitan area. One of the departments he oversees is the “fresh” department, an area in the grocery section that comprises the produce and dairy sections. Oftentimes he is required to work overnight in order to meet the trucks bringing to their club fresh food to be sold in the store. Those trucks arrive in the wee hours of the morning two or three times a week. The goal is to provide on a daily basis food that is not old or stale for the customer.
One of my goals with these weekly thoughts has been just that — to provide fresh “food” for you regularly, thoughts that are not old or stale. Recalling the words of our Lord, as recorded in Revelation 21:5 where he said “Behold, I am making all things new,” I am reminded that the Lord is always new and fresh with His Word, that His ultimate goal is for us to be re-freshed by His Word on a regular basis. And one thing I am sure of: He will accomplish it.
My friends, God wants us to establish traditions, especially the tradition of getting into His Word and learning from Him how He is making things new in our lives. The challenge is there for each of us, so please take heart, because “The Lord’s mercies indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness,” (Lamentations 3:22,23).
God is in the business of making all things new and fresh. I look forward to how He will continue to do that here. And I hope you will as well. “Therefore, I have hope in Him,” (Lamentations 3:24).
By the way, Genovese’s Italian Restaurant in Ormond Beach, Florida won the pizza contest!
Chuck Tabor is a religion columnist for The Times-Gazette and a former Hillsboro area pastor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org