That wasn’t tomato relish!

Last week I had the great opportunity to speak at a conference. I had to give a number of lectures and lead a number of discussion groups. The group that was hosting me did a great job and made me feel very welcome and the only thing I did more than stand up and present; was sit down and eat.

It seemed that all I did was eat – then speak, then eat – then speak, then eat – then speak.

I am not complaining – in 4 days I visited every restaurant in the large regional city and I enjoyed almost all of them.

But there was one experience that is worthy of a mention… after one of the night meetings we made our way to the restaurant and placed our order – the tapas plate emerged which had been ordered by my host as a group entrée and everyone tucked in. I was deep in conversation and so I was the last to take my selection.

As sometimes happens when you are eating with a group, the selection that was left was a little on the lean side and so I took a large spoonful of tomato relish and spread it upon my piece of Turkish bread – I topped it with the remaining olive and proceeded to eat.

This is when my problem emerged – I was not paying attention to the menu when the order was made and the restaurant was fairly dimly lit – the (what I thought was) tomato paste turned out to be a ‘house specialty’ home-grown chili paste and this fact only became clear after I had taken a very large bite!

The temperature of my mouth went immediately to ‘uncomfortably warm’ and then proceeded to climb to ‘thoroughly hot’ and finally peaked at ‘please excuse me if I just sit here and whimper for a moment!

My eyes were watering, I almost spat the olive across the table, I could not make coherent words emerge out of my mouth but apart from that – no-one at the table noticed! Ha!

Not everything in this life tastes good; experiences can have a residual effect.

However, I would not hesitate to invite you to try the beautiful selection that the Lord has set before you, even if you think you are a little late coming to the table.

“Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” Psa 34:8


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