My investment counselor friend and I sat down to eat our lunch at a window table in the food court inside the mall. We’d beat the lunch rush by twenty minutes. Good planning.
Our chair leg’s squeaked on the food court tiles as we pulled them closer to the table preparing to dig into our meals. My lunch companion looked at me and grinned. His face bright and warm as he said, “Guess what?”
He sounded playful. Curious, I played along. “What?” I grinned back at him.
“You’ll be glad to hear it’s time to jump out of the nest and test your wings.”
“Say what?” I placed my napkin on my left thigh and glanced at him. “Jump? Nest? How so?”
“Well, to put another way,” he said, “I think you’re ready to go it alone and improve your investments and realize those three things you’ve wanted to accomplish.” He picked up the mustard bottle, tipped it, and squeezed a dime-sized yellow glob onto one end of his hot, salted pretzel.
I could sense my face flush before I commented. “Wow! Yes, I feel like I’m ready.”
“Great! Before I push you out of the nest answer this question, do you want to get well?”
I hesitated, not entirely certain I understood exactly what he was asking. But I said, “Of course, I want to be well instead of sick. If I can help that happen, I will.”
“Very good, that’s nice to hear. What you just said is crucial because it says I plan to do what I do to do. I’m taking responsibility. I’m not going to give in to anything that will make me sick. I’m done with that.”
I listened and agreed. “O.K., yeah that’s what I’m saying.”
“All right, you’re poised on the edge of the nest and you’re ready to do your free-fall and fly. Can you see yourself? This is a huge moment because many at this risk place are scared and decide to go back into the safety of the nest. When this happens they are refusing to discover what living well, not sick, means.”
I imagined myself preparing to jump from my comfortable, familiar nest, and zoom like a bird.
He said, “Another way to view this is to realize a lot of people have no idea what healthy feels like because they’ve always been sick.” He squeezed more mustard on his pretzel, took a bite, chewed, and swallowed.
I delayed before I said, “Um, I think I follow that.” Yet I really wondered if I truly knew what it felt like to be healthy … well. I scrambled to find a memory of when I was completely fit. Was I ever?
He continued his explanation, “You know, Jesus has no intention of playing games with your life. Why? Because Jesus wants you to experience his best.” He paused.
Dumbfounded, I didn’t say anything. He said, “Jesus cares so much for you that he won’t. tease you with a sorry, worthless theory that isn’t in your best interest.”
I felt I had to say something, I said, “Good to know.”
He put down his pretzel and said, “Yes, and you need to recognize Jesus accepts you where you are. And from there, Jesus begins to transform you into the better, toward the best. Jesus’ intention is to have you experience life in all its fullness.”
I wanted to take what he said seriously. “That would be nice.”
“Oh, much more than nice. Do you still want to be well?”
“Well then, expect good things as you jump out of the nest and practice flying. Don’t panic because Jesus can be trusted to aid you in improving each of your investments.”
I’d finished eating lunch. I felt a flutter in my stomach. “I believe what you are saying is true.”
“Terrific! It is the truth. The next question is, as I said earlier, will you cooperate with Jesus or will you continue to experience being robbed, killed, and destroyed ‒ being sick?”
I blushed, a bit sad. “Why are you asking me this again?”
He ate his last bite of pretzel. “My intention is to reinforce your commitment.”
“I’m convinced you see the benefits of getting well. Jesus is here to improve all of your investments.” He added, “This will begin happening immediately.”
“Who wouldn’t want this?”
“You might be surprised.”
“These lunch meetings on improving personal investments have been quite interesting,” I said.
He said, “Good enough. Then go ahead and jump! Practice flying.
There could be additional steps to improving your investments. For instance, we could get very specific about how and why your relationships improve your investments, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Truly, this issue of relationships starts with your relationship with God. Once this relationship with God is fixed, and functioning, it flows into your relationships with others.
The Christian experience is meant to be perpetually fresh and growing. It’s a gratifying experience too few enjoy. It most certainly offers superior perks to the burdens often felt in our transient confused world.