When surgery was complete on all of the day’s fifteen patients, I and my co-workers sat down in the break room for a few minutes to relax and socialize. One particular girl came into the room and cheerfully announced to those of us at the table that she had discovered a new favorite food. “Do you want to guess?” she asked. Well, no, we did not. There were too many possibilities. So, “What was it?” we all questioned. “My new favorite food is” (wait for it) … you never would have guessed … her new favorite food is … “LENTILS.”
Lentils aren’t “new.”
I like lentils, I told her. And have enjoyed them both as a soup and in an Indian dish I make with Basmati rice and onions with yogurt on the side. “Really?” she replied with excited wide eyes.
Apparently this girl had been seeking healthy new eats and had stumbled upon the versatile, protein packed, fiber rich lentil.
Folks, lentils have been around since bible times and before. According to Genesis 25:34, Esau was tricked into selling his birthright for a pottage of lentils. The United States is actually fourth in worldwide lentil production and during World War II; Americans were encouraged to eat lentils to help the wartime economy. I wouldn’t be surprised if Americans today were found to be more familiar with Twinkies then the humble staple, lentils.
I know, I know. So what’s the point, Laurel?
My co-worker had found pleasure in one of the simplest and most basic foods – lentils. How often in life do we get wooed and seduced by things that are fancier, more colorful, more exciting? Why can’t we find contentment in what is plain old simple, pure and good? Think of appliances with all their buttons and attachments that offer multi-function. Refrigerators with TV screens! Automobiles with options galore. Do you want paper or plastic? Going to the store to buy chicken? Do you want white meat, dark meat, boneless, skinless, free range, tenders, or organic? Need a cup ‘o Joe? Ha! Will that be black, decaf, lite, frappe, sugar, Splenda, cappuccino, caramel, latte, or whatev? Tennis shoes used to have a blue tag at the heel that said KEDS. Now it’s Nike, Converse, Adidas, Reebok, Puma, or New Balance. Everything in life seems to get so complicated. Ordering a taco at the local fast food place involves choosing from beef or chicken and a hard or soft taco shell.
Many people have their own opinion on the simple things in life:
To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter… to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring – these are some of the rewards of the simple life. ~John Burroughs
The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life’s plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life. ~Robert Louis Stevenson
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. ~Leonardo DaVinci
So here’s to the simple life and enjoying all those simple basic pleasures. Tea and buttered toast. A day in the park. Homemade chicken noodle soup. A plain ‘ole good cup of coffee. A game of Monopoly with the family.
Why, God’s word even tells us to keep the talking to a humble minimum:
Ecclesiastes 6:11 The more the words, the less the meaning, and how does that profit anyone?
May you find pleasure in the basic and simple things in life. Don’t make it complicated. Right now, for me, the soup is simmering and the bread is rising. A simple supper on this Friday night.