Back in the late 1950s, early 1960s, my dad fabricated several stainless-steel grills that used charcoal. Fortunately, I have the one remaining grill. I will list it in my will when I pass on from this life. When the motor burned out that we used to spin the rotisserie chicken on the grill, my son, Anthony, got me a huge motor that could turn 50 pounds of chicken. He reminds the family over and over that it is the “best” gift Dad ever received. Sibling rivalry at its finest.

My son received a smoker grill from his father-in-law. You’ve seen them. They’re metal and round. You put a small amount of charcoal in the bottom and them some wood that “smokes” the meat for hours. We used it to cook hamburgers and hotdogs. He fired up the charcoal and started to cook the hotdogs. But the charcoal didn’t last long. He found some wooden sticks on the lawn and added them through an access door. I joined him and added wood and blew on the flames. It got hotter. Then my son fanned the charcoal to light the wood. Soon we had bigger flames. All of us turned 12 years old as we tried to figure out how tall we could get the flames.

We added more and more wood. Soon we were like seventh-graders noting that the flames went higher. In fact, they were so high that they beyond the top of the grill where the burgers and dogs were waiting to be cooked. 

We thought it was great. Was there any more wood in the yard we could insert through the access door? Then I noticed it (you were waiting for this). This was a smoker grill. This was not a propane grill. The paint on the outside of the metal shell had buckled off. While we were laughing at that (what else do seventh-graders do), my daughter-in-law Delee noticed the grass was on fire. There was a ring of fire that mirrored the outline of the grill. In addition, all the grass under the smoker was burned. She had to go get water and put out the flames.

A week later my son sent a picture of a piece of meat they cooked in the smoker. It took several hours, not several minutes. That was what the smoker was designed to do. Slowly cook meats.

What are you and I designed for? The Westminster Catechism asks this same question? Question: What is the chief end of man? Answer: Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.

When was the last time you thought our chief end was to enjoy God forever?

Think about one of your favorite aunts or uncles. I loved when my Uncle Larry and Aunt Alice would come over the house. Aunt Alice played the piano, and Uncle Larry had the corniest jokes. I begged my father to invite them over for Christmas. They were just easy to be around. There were no pretensions. I enjoyed their company. In fact, my youngest child’s middle name bears the name of my late uncle “Lawrence.” 

God should be the same way, that is we enjoy His company. Enjoy spending time with Him. Don’t think of Him as a vending machine where we take our prayer requests. Just like my Uncle Larry and Aunt Alice, God is “just easy to be around.” Let me encourage you to fall in love with Him. You’ll like hanging with Him. 

Why are you here? You already know that answer.

The Rev. Tony Marciano is the executive director of the Charlotte Rescue Mission. He is available to speak to your group. Go to www.charlotterescuemission.org and go to contact us – just ask for Pam. 

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