We spent the weekend in Chicago for the National Restaurant Association Food Show. We go once every 3 or 4 years on average. It’s an enjoyable working vacation that we always look forward to. The best part is that I work with my wife and we get to spend time together outside of
our daily running of our restaurants.
This year we ran into one of my favorite athletes of all time, Bo Jackson. Bo was so inspiring during his time as both a professional football player and baseball player. Even though I am a die hard Cubs fan I found myself watching the south side White Sox just to get a glimpse of Bo Jackson in his prime. I, along with everyone I know, was devastated when he got injured, a career cut way too short.
He wouldn’t take a picture with me, I’m not sure why, but I told him I respected that and he shook both mine and my wife’s hand and we exchanged some small talk. But why was Bo Jackson at a food show? He was the spokes person for a beef company that was selling to new customers at the show. There was a long line for people to try the meat, prime rib, it was really really really good. But I don’t buy prime rib and most of the people in line didn’t either. They were looking for someone who bought prime rib and we were not worthy of any of their time or energy. However there was a guy next to us and the conversation started like this. “Oh, you own a restaurant?” one of the sales people said to the gentleman, in his early 50’s, polo and jeans. The gentleman replied, “Yes, 34 of them.” The sales person choked a little and repeated what he had just heard, “34?”, “Yes, 34” the gentleman confirmed. All of the sudden all the sales people where over talking, giving things, schmoozing, introducing him to Bo Jackson, the whole bit. That got me thinking. I tend to do that a lot.
Do most people think that they have to have something to offer for God to pay attention to them? Do people walk around saying, if only I can be important enough then God will give me what I want? It doesn’t work that way. God’s love is not prime rib, you don’t have to be buying it for him to give you attention. And for the matter at hand, you cannot buy something that is not for sale. God’s love is free, you can’t buy it, you can’t earn it, it’s a gift.
After our encounter with Mr. Jackson I thought of something. That guy who owned 34 restaurants and bought prime rib had to prove that he was worthy enough to meet Bo Jackson. I simply skipped the line and went up and introduced myself. The takeaway was that Bo Jackson didn’t care if I bought prime rib or not, he was there to talk to anyone who wanted to talk. When you except that Christ died for you on the cross it’s like skipping the line to meet God. You’re a VIP in the eyes of God, no purchase necessary.
I had a really good time today but I can’t forget my lessons as I walk through this world. That’s why I can make this bold statement, God will meet me on the other side and say, “Troy Knows Jesus”.