When the Mongols and Turks were busy wreaking havoc on  each other during the Middle Ages, little did they realize the magnitude of their discovering “steak tartare,” what eventually came to be known to us as hamburger. The irony is that hundreds of years later the only people who can understand the language being spoken through the drive-through speaker at a fast food restaurant are Mongols and Turks.

We can send men into space in a billion dollar spacecraft with tasty vacuum-sealed food but they  better not drive their truck up to the speaker at a fast food restaurant and  try to order a corn dog here on earth. The conversation usually goes something like this: Speaker: “Welcome to Burger/Taco/Chicken World. Would you like to Mambo?” Me: “What? I don’t dance.” Speaker: “What? I asked if you would like one of our combos.” Me: “Oh. Sorry. I’ll just have a cheeseburger.” Speaker: “I’m sorry. We don’t have cheeseburners.” Me: “What? I said cheeseBURGER!” Speaker: “Oh, sorry. Would you like to catch up?” Me: “I didn’t know I was behind.” Speaker: “I’m sorry, sir. We don’t have any beehives but we do have honey barbecue sauce.”  Me: “What? You asked me if I wanted to catch up.” Speaker: No sir. I asked if you wanted ketchup on your cheeseburner.”

At this point in the conversation I am wishing I had brought a sandwich from home. Out of angry determination I continue, but with a different approach. Me: “Do you have chicken legs?” Speaker: “I used to but I’ve been working out.” Me: “What? Look, read my lips. Just give me a chicken dinner.” Speaker: “Have you had a chicken strip?” Me: “No, I had one that danced funny but what’s that got to do with anything?” Speaker: “I asked if you had tried our chicken strips.” Me: “Oh for crying out loud! Give me some cheese dip!” Speaker: “Sir, it’s nacho cheese.” Me: “I know! It’s for my wife!” Speaker: “What?”

I am fully convinced that if Jesus had been forced to place his order at the drive-through speaker of a fast food restaurant, then the real miracle at the feeding of the five thousand would have been how that many people could be filled by 2 gloves and a dish.

Unfortunately we sometimes do the same thing with prayer. We are guilty of approaching prayer with all the fervor and sincerity of ordering French fries at a drive-through window. We pause long enough in our self-imposed chaotic schedules to roll down our spiritual windows and give God our order for the day. Then we get antsy when the answer is not what we want and when we want it. We think God didn’t hear us.   

Prayer, like worship, is never about us. It is always about God and becoming closer to Him. God know us better than we know ourselves. Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  The next time you drive up to the speaker at a fast food restaurant speak clearly and hope for the best. The next time you pray, listen closely to the Speaker.  He knows what is best. If there is a problem with communication, don’t blame God . . . it’s on you. Would you like ketchup with that crow?

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