What’s For Dinner?

O taste and see that the LORD is good!  (Psalm 34:8)
I never really thought that going the distance in this era of COVID would mean watching more TV.
Last year, our daughter Sarah gave us the gift of co-membership on her Netflix account. I am convinced that we use it much more than she does. According to Yahoo! Finance, Netflix has doubled in both membership and stock value over the last year. Some would say that the stock is over-valued, but not at our house. We have found the most amazing docu-series that help to make the dinner hour both entertaining and inspirational.
Deb and I have watched more than a few “cooking shows,” but one that has been quite entertaining is “Somebody Feed Phil.” Phil seems to be a television producer who has decided to take a small team of cinematographers around the world to different cities to try the cuisine. He spends time gorging himself on street food, and in the next breath, waltzes into a 5-star restaurant to see what they can feed him. Every time he puts something in his mouth his face breaks into sunshine and his eyes pop out, and he pumps his arms and fists as if he had just won a boxing match. That’s the entertaining part. It’s very good, but even better is what we see as Phil strikes up spontaneous relationships with the food vendors he meets, highlighting their personalities and cultures and contributions to the human family on this planet. Everybody needs to eat. Everybody needs friends. Everybody needs recognition and dignity. Phil combines all of these in a three-course virtual gastronomic experience that makes me smile. If you can figure out how he stays as thin as a rail, let me know.
Another one we discovered is “Chef’s Table.” I had almost given up finding another good show when we happened upon this docu-series. Each inspirational segment takes us to a different part of the world where we are introduced to chefs who literally live to cook and to create. One theme that runs through every show is the chefs’ intense desire to reclaim indigenous recipes and local ingredients in what they prepare. As I watch these segments, I become so very aware of the prepared and processed food that I consume every day — without thought of the farmers and orchard keepers and fishermen and herders that give life from their produce that we might have life. Each chef is passionate about the way their creations taste and look upon presentation, as if nothing but perfection will do. And each chef’s personal story, from childhood to the present, is woven into the entire narrative.
The Netflix co-founder and co-CEO, Reed Hastings, talks about his company, saying, “we really manage right on the edge of chaos.” It seems like Phil and the chefs do the same. And even those of us at Naples UCC do so as well. COVID has asked us all to manage life on the edge of chaos. The pandemic has required us to change, to adapt, to be patient, and to innovate. COVID has required this from churches, corporations, and communities. The good part is that God has given us the tools we need to face the chaos: friendships, fellowship, spiritual worship and encouragement, ways to serve and help others. Every day is another opportunity to be educated and inspired, pandemic or not.

Prayer: Lord, as we go the distance from day to day, show us those things that feed our souls and inspire us to be people who serve and help others. Amen.