My Weber grill and I have had a good time this summer. Between the ambrosial aroma of steaks being seared, and the bouquet of smells proffered by grilling corn on the cob, asparagus, carrots, and other assorted vegetables, we’ve had quite a flavorful time. The combination of smells and tastes complement the sheer joy in cooking for friends and family, and sharing life together. In Greek mythology, “ambrosial” pertained to something worthy of the gods. No, I’m not saying my skills on the grills are god-like, far from it. Sometimes I over-use the spices (too heavy on the lemon-pepper last time). Sometimes I over-cook the whatever… I’m not perfect in any sense of the word. Still, I love to keep trying and experiment with new techniques and new recipes. I also believe this is the key to life.
See, I learned a long time ago, you just have to not be afraid to fail. Because you will. Whether it’s golf, or grilling, or going all-in with a full house in Texas Hold-em’, there are going to be those times you’re going to be beat by a “flush.” You’re going to fail to make the putt. The grilled chicken is going to be dry and overcooked.
Do you really want to know what an “Ambrosial Act” is? We’ve seen the stories over and over for a couple of weeks now. People who act in self-less ways to help those who are ravaged by life, perform ambrosial acts… they act in ways that are pleasing to God.
And folks, let me assure you, there are many more opportunities for God to use you in this recovery process.
Did you know there is a whole group of people both in Texas and in Florida which will receive no help at all from FEMA? Churches will not be eligible for recovery money from FEMA (either for their own damage, or for the costs of being a shelter for those fleeing for their lives from the storm). FEMA categorically “excludes houses of worship from equal access to disaster relief grants because of their religious status,” citing buildings that provide “critical service” or “essential government services”; if over half their space is used for religious programming cannot participate in the federal aid program.
Were it not for all the religious institutions and churches that have offered aid, and which will continue to do so, FEMA would fail miserably to provide all that’s needed in the recovery process. We need a new recipe, a new technique to solve this problem.
The clear reality is, churches were lost in this storm too. People who attended these churches lost their homes and possessions. Pastors and staff members who served these congregations, lost their homes and possessions. Harvey is gone and the weather is clear in Texas along the coast again. However, it is anything but business-as-usual. It will take months and years to get it all back in place.
How will it happen? It takes all of us folks. It takes being willing to fail. My Uncle Wylie used to say, “Don’t just stand there, do something! If it doesn’t work, try again!” I feel like God is looking down on us, saying, “See the marvelous opportunity you have? Do something!”
Last week in worship our Pastor presented the idea that our church “partner” with another decimated church in South Texas and stand with them in the rebuilding process. This really resonates with me as an ambrosial act. It’s full of flavor and sweet smelling aroma in the palate of God, as He views His people doing what He called them to do.
After the flood, Noah built an altar and made an offering to God, for God’s provision and salvation. It was an ambrosial act.
The LORD smelled the soothing aroma; and the LORD said to Himself, “I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done.”
God recognizes we are going to fail. Isn’t it about time we recognize it too? And in this understanding, should we not simply do what we can do to help in the rebuilding and recovery of life, for those less fortunate than ourselves?
Don’t forget, this isn’t done yet.
If you liked this blog post feel free to share it with your friends. I’d love to hear your thoughts.