"Every day, actually, for a few weeks. I grabbed a napkin, set the table, and ate my yogurt like a human being."
Just one verse each day.
One of my dearest friends from college was both an atheist and a health nut. After graduation, during our weekly FaceTime calls, he would usually be chowing down on Greek yogurt, straight from the tub. I was one of his only Christian friends, and I used our calls to offer him all the latest arguments as to why he should become Christian. I was a bit of a zealot, more concerned with converting my friend than hearing about his life, but he put up with it pretty well. Usually, he would nod, say, “Cool, I’ll think about that,” and continue to shovel yogurt from the tub.
One day, I got fed up with this routine, so I offered a piece of needling advice. “You know,” I said, “human beings usually eat from a bowl. You could try it sometime; it would be good for you.”
He nodded: “Okay.”
Suddenly, he got another call, and had to log off. I felt a bit embarrassed.
A few months passed without our usual calls. Finally, my phone rang. It was my friend. “I took your advice,” he said.
“About Christianity?” I asked, hopefully.
“No, about the yogurt,” he interrupted. “I put my yogurt in a bowl. Every day, actually, for a few weeks. I grabbed a napkin, set the table, and ate my yogurt like a human being. For a while, I didn’t notice much difference, except this little pause before I began to eat. I would feel excited about everything in front of me, my little feast.”
He paused. “One day, though, when I got to this little pause, I noticed something different. I noticed that I was grateful. I realized that everything in my life was a gift, and that I didn’t make the gift; it was given to me.” He paused again. “All at once, I realized that God was real, and that he loves me.”
Four years later, my friend is now a faithful disciple of Jesus, married and teaching at a Christian school. And it all started with putting his yogurt in a bowl.
We can learn from my friend’s courageous openness to God.
When we “put our yogurt in a bowl,” we break up our constant streams of activity (or distraction) with a “little pause.” That “little pause” is where we can become aware of God’s constant, providential care for us. My friend is a living example that even a glimpse of this reality — that “God is real, and he loves us” — can transform our lives forever.
This is part of the series called “The Human Being Fully Alive” found here.