Nothing says the first day of spring than sitting in a park on a warm, sunny day with your favorite Californian epicurean’s delight. That’s precisely what I did today, as no trip to the Golden State is complete without an In-N-Out Burger.
I took my moveable feast to my favorite Foothills Ranch Park, Borrego, which is situated on a mesa overlooking the splendor of Orange County. The peaceful surroundings, the graceful soccer players in the field, the dogs and their owners meandering on the paths were insignificant compared to the expectation of sinking my teeth into that juicy, tasty burger.
In-N-Out is a bit of a Marketing anomaly. For over 60 years, their small menu, consisting of burgers (or cheeseburgers), fries and drinks, has been delighting California residents. No line expansion, no frills, just great burgers. Whatever the magic is, I hope it never goes away. The enchantment is so compelling that when the first location was opened outside of the state, Arizona residents slept in their cars to be the first to savor a burger.
Conversely, God loves variety. He created the heavens and the earth. The water teeming with living creatures and the birds flying above the earth over the great expanse of sky. (Genesis 1:20) He had the land produce living creatures, the earth produce seed bearing plants and trees. His crowning creative act was to form man. (Genesis 1:24 – 30) When He was done, He saw that it was very good. (Genesis 1:31)
All around us is the variety of God’s most profoundly inspired undertaking. He fashioned the giraffe and the blue whale. He shaped the prickly pineapple and the soft orchid. He formed every color in the spectrum. And in man, he created so much variety that even science through DNA has determined we are each individual masterpieces. How very interesting 20th century genetics echoes what the writer of Ephesians said two thousand years earlier, “For we are God’s masterpiece.” (Ephesians 2:10, NLT)
His hope was that we’d revel in it, adore Him all the more because of it, and see the beauty in the mystery and mission of others. Sadly, one look at man’s history tells us this isn’t so.
This is why I’m asking you to participate in a variety experiment. Vote for your favorite hamburger by writing a comment on which burger delights your taste buds the most. It could be In-N-Out, Red Robin, Burger King or McDonalds…or one of a thousand different selections. I’ll share the results of this inexact straw vote poll in a later blog entry.
But, please, also take this fun activity one step further. As you type your answer, make sure you also take time to notice the God-given variety in your life. Be kind to someone different from you. Smile your way through the frustrations of dealing with others. Laugh at the variety of animals and foliage we enjoy. Take pleasure and find ultimate joy in the beauty that surrounds you.
And then thank God for His creativity and love of variety.