Wednesday, February 29, 2012

“MILK ONLY” – A PARABLE

I was wearied by the journey. The lyrics of an old Amy Grant CD filled the car…”He's just a fat little baby, He wants his bottle and he don’t mean maybe. He’s sampled solid food once or twice, but he says doctrine leaves him cold as ice…” The thought of food piqued my appetite just as a roadside café caught my eye. Judging from the many cars parked out front, I supposed it to be a decent place to eat—I decided to pull in. My stomach growled in anticipation as I made my way to the entrance. Every table was full, so I had my name put on the list. Waiting for my turn, I surveyed the décor. “This is most unusual,” I uttered to myself, as I came to realize that every wall in the restaurant was littered with pictures and paintings of cows, dairy cows. I waited patiently for my turn—anticipating the delightful fare that had drawn so many patrons. My name was called and a waitress politely directed me to my seat. She handed me a menu.

Imagine my surprise when I surveyed the offerings. The menu had only two sections: “Drinks” and “Dessert.” There were no sections for appetizers, breakfast, lunch, or dinner! I looked over the drinks section and found nothing but milk: skim milk, 1%, 2%, 3.8%, whole milk, cream, buttermilk, goat’s milk and other kinds of milk that I’d never heard of before. The dessert section had only one option. You guessed it—chocolate milk. “What kind of restaurant is this?” I thought.

The waitress returned for my order. “What gives,” I asked, “the menu lists nothing but milk?” Surprised by my question, she explained that the owner had found that a lot of people have no appetite for solid foods. “But I like them!” I replied, “All kinds-- pizza, hamburgers, chicken, cinnamon rolls…” How is it that you don’t serve any solid foods? “That’s exactly the problem with solid foods,” she responded, “too many choices, people inevitably choose their favorites. We have found that everyone gets along a lot better when we don’t have solid foods to argue about.” “Besides, our patrons cannot digest solid foods,” she added.

Can’t digest solid foods?” I wondered. What kind of restaurant could this be? I turned to one of the other customers. “Do you realize that there are other kinds of food besides milk? Don’t you need to eat other kinds of things to stay healthy? “She acted as if she had heard the question before; she answered with a well worn response: “we don’t want to have to take the time to consider other choices, we’ve found that the “milk alone” diet makes things much simpler. Besides, it was good enough for us as infants, why change things?”

I noted, as I was digesting her response, that all of the other patrons seemed quite satisfied with their meals. Milk mustaches on happy faces testified to their contentedness. I supposed that I had somehow gone crazy. Perhaps it was a dream. I decided to test my theory. I climbed on top of my table and shouted out—“Don’t you know that you cannot survive on a milk only diet!” You need to eat other kinds of things if you want to be strong and healthy!”

The people in the restaurant looked at me as if I was some kind of alien. And then they started to get a little angry. I heard shouts from the crowd. “What are you doing here,” one of them blurted out—his tongue still white from his drink--“we’ve seen your kind before. Coming in here talking about solid foods, causing division and what not. The people here are perfectly content with milk. They don’t want anything else.”

As if on cue, the patrons all stood and began to sing. A man with a guitar began to play. Someone pulled out some drums. The words to the song were simple and strange.

We love milk,
‘Tis milk we love
You ask me why
I say because.

They kept singing the words over and over again. I noticed that they were getting more excited the longer they sang. By the time they had sung it seven times they had worked themselves into quite an emotional frenzy. Their milk-only diet didn’t give them much strength, so after they had finished, they sat down to rest.

Disturbed by what I had seen, I purposed to try again. I climbed back onto the table and surveyed the tired audience. I urged them to consider the benefits of solid food. The many varied flavors that their taste buds could enjoy. The wonderful textures they could experience. The better health that would result from eating solid foods. The longer I spoke the antzier they became. I began to worry as they started getting up out of their seats. Suddenly they were surrounding me. They had glasses and mugs in their hands--filled with milk. Comments I overheard made it clear that they intended to baptize me. A baptism in milk that I might be made into a “milk-onlyer.” “Help me!” I screamed.

And suddenly I was awake. It was a dream. I had fallen asleep at the table. The cat had knocked over a glass of milk, waking me up. Hurriedly, I picked up my Bible, away from the spill, and then remembered—I had been reading. I glanced at my Bible. Where did I leave off? Oh yes, it was Hebrews chapter five, verses 5:13-14, “For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.” I offered a silent prayer of thanks to God, the giver of healthy appetites. I reached over to grab my cinnamon roll, and took a bite.

Pastor Jerry

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Jerry,

I enjoyed this story. Thanks,

Bob Allen