The Floating Buffet


Have you ever been pampered?


I was forced to go on a cruise not long ago. It was a work vacation really, or that’s what I kept telling my wife. I spoke five times during the week. But when I wasn’t speaking, I was eating. Keep in mind that I grew up below what the government calls the poverty line. Vacations of my childhood were extravagant if we had a ride in a rubber dingy. And here I was on a floating buffet.


Picture an endless conveyor belt of calories. Want ice cream? Grab a cone. Step up to the nozzle. How about pizza? Grab a plate, they’ll stack it to the ceiling. 24-hour room service. Sleep in until 10, wake up to a plate of cheese and fruit and yogurt and mounds of pancakes dipped in chocolate sauce. Each evening you sit in a fancy dining room, looking over a menu containing items like lobster tail, crème brulee, prime rib, escargot (which tastes a lot like snails), and triple-heart-attack cherry chocolate cheesecake. May I have 13 desserts? Yes. For you, anything señor.


If you’re wondering how much food they pack onto these ships each week, the massive cruise ship Allure of the Seas packs along 15,000 pounds of beef, 16,000 pounds of chicken, 86,000 fresh eggs, 62,000 pounds of fresh veggies, over 2,000 bottles of wine, 45,000 pounds of fresh fruit, 8,000 gallons of cream, 18,000 slices of pizza, for about 8,500 people.


For a kid like me it’s hard to fathom really. I kept thinking I would love to detour this ship and dock close to my brothers and sisters who wonder where their next meal is coming from. Wouldn’t that be cool?


Then, it struck me like a slab of prime rib: All of this decadence couldn’t come close to the lavish love of God, to the eternal blessings he has given us through his Son Jesus. This is from Ephesians 1: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ…In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us.”


If you have received His free gift of forgiveness through faith in Jesus, you are rich in things that last, in things that truly fulfill. So let’s simply thank him today for what He has done. Think of it: We are redeemed. Forgiven. Rich in grace. You may never set foot on a cruise ship, but a heavenly buffet is yours. Let’s load up today.

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