“Which is the burger everyone loves the most?” I asked the woman at the farmers market. Her stand was new this year and to draw customers to her she had set up four tasting stations for her four different bean burgers. “The original is the one that got me started. It has lentils, rice, spinach, and a few other secret ingredients.” The words ‘secret ingredients’ hung in the air. I knew she was protecting her product. She didn’t want folks going home and making their own using her recipe. She needn’t bother to hide her ingredients from me though. I wasn’t buying her burgers because they tasted better than mine. They didn’t. I was buying her burgers because I didn’t want to go to the trouble of making my own. Fresh, healthy food takes time to make, and I was looking for a shortcut.
Another new stand at my farmers market is Borekg’s red lentils. Lentils are easy to make but Borekg’s Mediterranean red lentils are already made fresh from her stove, not mine. All I have to do is scoop them out and roll them up in a lettuce leaf with a few drops of lemon juice and I have a unique appetizer for my guests with very little trouble or time. This stand has lots of different foods ready-made, fresh, and delicious.
When it comes to food preparation, if there is a shortcut, I take it. Lately, I have been using humus as my salad dressing. There are recipes all over the Internet for healthy salad dressings and I have a couple I really like but humus comes ready-made and it tastes great mixed in with fresh, crisp greens and vegetables. Another great product I use on my salad is Bobbi’s Tuscan White Bean Dip. It looks like a creamy ranch dressing but it has no dairy product listed in the ingredients and the flavor is very agreeable to me. The best part is that both these dressings are made from beans.
Last night in my dreams I spent some time with my dog who is in heaven. “She’s a ghost,” I would say to my friends as they came to my house and saw my dog. Roxy was young again, playful, and affectionate. One day I will see her in heaven but she just couldn’t wait so she took a shortcut and came to visit me in my dreams.
I imagine that when I go to heaven there will be some greeters. We have greeters at church, in fact I am one of them. All we do is smile, shake hands, and say welcome to anyone who walks in the door. In heaven, I will know my greeters. They will be all of my family and friends who have left this world and they will welcome me home with my Father God. Among them will be all my pets, and Roxy will lead them. She will come bounding up to me like she did in my dreams, and bow her head like she used to do when I hugged her, and lean against me, returning the hug in her gentle dog-like way. I have taken the shortcut to eternal life. I have not bought my way in with good deeds or by fulfilling prescribed rituals. I have not sought to enter into the Kingdom of God without wearing the robes my father gives me. Instead, I am clothed in Christ. I am robed in Him and hidden in His gracious and merciful love. Jesus Christ is my shortcut to heaven. Praise God that I do not have to try to get there on my own.
So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. …You are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.–Galatians 3:26-29