Posted by: mikenicholsblog | January 26, 2011

hamburgers and salads

As I sat across the table today and looked at my friend’s meal, it looked delicious. He had a nice juicy hamburger with fries, while I had a salad and soup. Although Weight Watchers would approve my lunch, I would have preferred the high fat, low nutrition choice of my friend. For one day however, I made the right choice. We are all confronted with choices daily. On a particular day in the life of Christ, He had an interesting discussion with the disciples about food and nourishment.

The backdrop for this exchange is the very familiar story of Christ and the woman at the well. On His way through Samaria, Jesus met a woman whose life was less than appropriate. His love and care for her resulted in saving faith. Other Samaritans entrusted their lives to Christ after hearing her witness. Extra, extra! Read all about it in John chapter four.

In the midst of that larger story, we find Christ having a brief, but powerful discussion with his disciples. A powerful discussion about some about some not-so-ordinary sustenance.  Sandwiched between the woman leaving to go tell her friends about meeting the Messiah, and their return, we find the bigger-than-bread exchange between Jesus and his disciples.  As they returned from town, the disciples urge Jesus to eat.  Listen carefully to His response …

John 4:32-34
But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” Then the disciples said to each other, “could someone have brought him food?” “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.”

The disciples were concerned with food. But real nourishment for Christ came from doing the will of His Father. In this case, it was leading a Samaritan woman to saving faith. Just like you and I have to choose between hamburgers and salads, we also have to choose between the will of God (real nourishment) and our own desires. Phillip Brooks said it well: “Seek your life’s nourishment in your life’s work.” If you are in Christ, there is no doubt that the Father has plans for you. Doing His will can provide far greater satisfaction than a delicious meal.

Before my lunch choice today, I was given a picture of someone who I believe lived out the principles of doing the will of His Father. I was listening to a CD from John Maxwell when I heard a story of the great John Wooden. He had a life-list that was taken from a card his dad gave him when he was twelve. He read it daily throughout his life and tried to apply the principles. On the card were these statements:

Making the most of one’s self. Be true to yourself. Make each day a masterpiece. Help others. Drink deeply from good books. Make friendship a fine art. Build shelter against a rainy day. Pray for guidance and give thanks for your blessings every day.

John Wooden died last year having lived life to the fullest. I believe his faith in Christ helped him live a life of real nourishment.

Our legacy will never be that of John Wooden, but will it be said of us that we valued the Father’s will more than anything else? Will caring for others, growing in His Word and giving of ourselves to His cause be our legacy? Christ patterned for us a life that nourishes the soul. John Wooden’s story provides evidence that we can follow the pattern. You and I may always battle between hamburgers and salads, in feeding our bodies.  But Father, help us choose your will over ours, and find real nourishment for our lives!


  1. Nice post…particularly liked the part about John Wooden. Also this line – “If you are in Christ, there is no doubt that the Father has plans for you. Doing His will can provide far greater satisfaction than a delicious meal.”


  2. Great Hamburger! Greater words! I too liked the John Wooden part. One of my favorite quotes of his is “You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.” Thanks for the words.

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