When I was living in Omaha, NE for six years I had the honor of working for one of the best sandwich-making companies: Jimmy John's! I loved my time at Jimmy John's for many reasons: made great sandwiches, met great new people, and got to be a "freaky fast" delivery guy that brought wonder and merriment to hungry souls all over Omaha, NE.
Don't worry, this post isn't primarily about sandwiches. But there is some insight that I've gained after working at Jimmy Johns that applies to our daily lives as followers of Jesus.
So, what did I learn?
Well, here it is: fresh is always better than stale.
While that may not seem profound to you I'd like to elaborate a bit.
You see, Jimmy Johns built the bulk of their reputation on freshness and high-quality ingredients. The quality of their product is pretty incredible given most standards in the fast food industry today. In addition to high quality, Jimmy John's was very concerned about the freshness of their bread. Every morning when we'd open the store, we'd be pulling out fresh dough, letting it proof, and then by the time lunch rush hit we'd have freshly baked french bread that was coming out of the oven hot and golden brown. It was a wonderful sight to see and there are few things that smell better than freshly baked bread. And let me tell you; people love fresh bread!
Jimmy John's wouldn't be near as successful as they are without their consistent conviction to make fresh bread all day every day.
Translation: many times I think many of us aren't experiencing the richness and depth of God's love and revelation each day because we're surviving on stale bread rather than the fresh bread God offers each morning. We've settled for a weekly, bi-weekly, or random rhythm with God when He offers us fresh bread daily.
In the same way that no one wants Jimmy John's week-old bread, we shouldn't settle for staleness in our relationship with Jesus either.
Are you committed to cultivating a freshness in your relationship with Jesus each day?
If you're looking for some suggestions, I have a few recommendations but my primary recommendation is to spend time in God's Word daily. Get a Bible reading plan, listen to the Bible on audio in the car, worship Him through song, or find your own rhythm of relationship with Jesus.
There's nothing wrong with staying excited about what God is teaching you throughout the weeks and months, but I think we've all known people who have the rotating verses or phrases or concepts that they use to answer "What is God showing you lately?".
The problem isn't the content; the problem is that your faith has grown stale.
The freshness is gone.
But here's the good news: the Bible promises us that there is a daily richness and satisfaction that comes when we pursue Jesus like we really believe who He said He was, the living water and the bread of life (John 6:35). In addition, we're promised an abundant life in Him alone (John 10:10) and we see a picture of the mature who dig deep roots by spending time in God's Word constantly and the byproduct is a stable life in Christ (Psalm 1:1-3, Joshua 1:8-9).
As followers of Jesus, the only thing limiting our experience of Him is our proximity and commitment to following Him daily.
May we be followers of Jesus that are never content with stale bread, at Jimmy John's, and especially in our relationship with Jesus.
For the Kingdom!