Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Parable of the Refrigerator

A parable:

Once a man felt the cravings for some sustenance.  He went into the kitchen and approached the refrigerator (it looked something like this picture), knowing that it was a receptacle of a variety of food and drink. He was unsure of what he wanted to feast (or at least snack) upon, but he was full of confidence that within those doors he would find what he wanted.

He opened the door, and stood there for a moment as his eyes moved side to side, then up and down, seeing what was available for him to take. As he mentally made a list of what was in there, he rejected one option after another as nothing seemed to him to fulfill his craving. Finally he closed the door in despair, having been unsuccessful in his search yet still craving sustenance.

After what seemed like an eternity, but in reality was only a few minutes, he returned to the fridge and again opened the door, thinking perhaps he had been somewhat hasty in deciding that there was nothing to satisfy him, and repeated the process of perusing the contents. Still he was unable to find something that sounded good to him, so he closed the door once more, again frustrated and hungry.

He repeated this process again and again, as his desire for sustenance became stronger. He thought to himself, and occasionally responded to the inquiries from his wife with "I want something to eat; I just don't know what."

Finally he returned once again to the fridge and opened the door, knowing that there just had to be something in there that would hit the spot. This time he made a decision, reluctantly grabbed a storage container that held some left overs from a previous meal and ate.

The End

So what's the message in this parable? A few things to keep in mind before I give my interpretation:

1) The man in the parable started out with a standard of what was acceptable to him.
2) The contents of the fridge did not change.
3) After repeated attempts to find something that met his original standard, he finally settled on something that was available.

In this life, there are many things about which we have very high standards and/or expectations. We have things we want to do, behaviors we expect from ourselves and others, and an idea of what we want to become. The question is, how often do we just settle for something because we get impatient and can't find what we originally wanted? Just something we all may want to consider...

And a final message for the married guys out there. Don't kid yourselves-the odds are that our wives represented the man in the parable, with high standards and expectations of what she wanted in an eternal companion. And for whatever reason, she eventually settled for us after repeated trips to the fridge. The good news is that we have the opportunity, responsibility, and privilege of becoming and even exceeding her original expectations. Yes, it may will take a lot of work, patience, trial & error, forgiveness, forgiving, repentance, prayers, tears, laughter, flowers, chocolate, laundry, chores, humility, leadership, trust, and/or love, but it is possible. And worth it.

Just something to think about the next time you're standing in front of the fridge looking for something to eat.

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