We ate at a Waffle House this morning. I once knew an evangelist who said that he could recognize any chain restaurant by the aroma when he walked inside. I am sure that he is right. A Waffle House has the great combined scent of eggs, waffles and grits – all good things!
As I placed my order, I looked at the selection of breads. On days that I am being more careful about food choices, I ignore this section of the menu. But, today, I decided to go for it. My usual selection is wheat bread but then I noticed that raisin bread was also an option and I smiled.
I like raisin bread. It has dark swirls of flavor in the bread itself and it has those delicious, plumb raisins. Raisins in raisin bread are never hard and small like the ones you sometimes find at the bottom of a snack box or tucked inside an oatmeal raisin cookie. Raisin bread raisins are rich and scrumptious.
John’s mom used to make meat and cheese sandwiches using raisin bread. I thought it was really odd the first time that she made one for me. She buttered each slice of raisin bread (butter??) and then added just a couple of thin slices of ham and Swiss cheese. But, that sandwich was amazingly delicious and I miss her making them for me.
At home, we ate the raisin bread within a few days of buying it. It is a moist bread – leave it on the counter too many days and it will go bad. So, when we had it, I loved to enjoy a slice (or two). This morning, I fixed my bread just like we had done at home. The bread was lightly toasted and then a spoonful of apple butter was carefully spread to cover every part of the slice. And then I savored each bite. Raisin bread with apple butter is not something that you eat with your eggs and sausage and grits (I really didn’t pay attention to the calories this morning!). No, raisin bread is more like the dessert at the end of breakfast. It was delicious and sweet and it reminded me of home.
In less than two weeks, John and I will be joining with other members of our church in our annual “Daniel Fast.” This three week fast will include only fruit, vegetables and water. No sausage, no grits with butter, no scrambled eggs, no ham, no Swiss cheese, no Diet Coke, and, especially, no raisin bread with apple butter. Instead, we will abandon the diet of “choice foods” for a time of fasting. Like Daniel of old, we chose to limit ourselves to basic foods and water as we focus our attention on God and what He wants in this New Year.
Have no doubt that as I work to focus my attention ahead, my mind will wander from time to time to raisin bread toast with apple butter. My taste buds and stomach will remind me that I really prefer foods of comfort and calories. And, it is those very longings that will cause me to focus on the better things, the Godly things, the righteous things that my life really needs.
“I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.” (Daniel 10:3)