Friday, August 3, 2012

Waffles, Bacon and a Side of Prayer

I am a breakfast kind of guy.  I love breakfast food, and at any given time of day I'm as likely to be eating oatmeal, pancakes or cold cereal as I am a "normal" lunch or dinner.  Don't get me wrong, though- I'll plow through steak, pork chops, or a good bowl of pasta in a heartbeat!  I just like breakfasts because of the great memories that come with them.

On Saturday mornings, Mom and Dad would work together to make breakfast for us kids.  Sometimes, it was a simple pot of oatmeal.  Other times, it was pancakes or french toast with bacon and eggs.  No matter what it was, one thing remained the same on a regular basis: We'd eat breakfast as a family.  It was the best day of the week, and the best time of day, as the morning sun shone brightly and we gathered around the table together with a promise filled day ahead of us.

As life dragged on, the family breakfasts grew more and more infrequent, until it was nearly a miracle to get us together at the table for any meal.  Communication began to crumble, and the family followed closely behind.  Without the support of one another, we began to make bad choices all around: I fell headlong into a pornographic addiction; my sisters began dating and befriending people of dubious influence; and my parents' marriage dissolved into resentment, hurt feelings and heartache.
Soon, the only communication we had took the form of either written notes or face to face arguments.  There was a day, shortly before my parents separated, that my Dad called the house and I didn't recognize his voice.  That moment sticks with me because, all fault to the side, no child should ever forget the voice of a parent who took an active part in their lives.  In fact, the memory haunts me to this day- In that until recently, I never knew what had gone wrong.  My family had survived car accidents, a catastrophic fire (read more here), economic hardship and several church splits...  So what went wrong?

Over a Men's Breakfast of Belgian waffles, sausage, hashbrowns, eggs, and a side of bacon, I mulled over this question once again.  As I stared idly at the smaller plate of bacon, my pastor began talking about prayer and the importance of it.  I had learned a while before that prayer was a means of communion with God.  Then, suddenly, everything seemed to fall into place.

You see, I've never ordered a plate of bacon and a side of waffles.  Waffles are a main course; bacon is a side.  (Though it is an excellent garnish for salads!)  Sometimes, though, we order a side of prayer, instead of making it our main course.  When we do this, our communication with God begins to falter, and soon our relationship with Him begins to suffer.
Likewise, it was the communication between my family that was the lifeblood of our relationship.  When that began to fail, the family began to suffer.  It was no one person's fault, though we all had a hand in its demise. When we stopped communicating, the family began to fall apart.

When we do not communicate with God, our lives suffer for it.  So remember- When it comes to prayer, order it as the main course...  And get the waffles on the side.

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