December 30, 2019

A few months ago, my doctor convinced me to eat a plant based diet. This has made eating at restaurants a challenge.

Last week, Shannon and I were in Austin. It was time to eat so, out of curiosity, I looked up vegan restaurants on my phone. I am not making this up. There are vegan restaurants but me, being me, had never dreamed of going to one. I knew it would be an experience.

The first thing I noticed was that my truck was the only one in a parking lot filled with Volkswagens, Fiats, and Mini Coopers.

When we walked into the restaurant, I saw a giant pink bunny painted on the wall that was staring at me and they were playing pop music from the 1980s. I also saw that I was the only one wearing boots in a sea of sandals and strange clothing. To give you an idea what I’m talking about, one man was actually wearing pants that looked like they had been made from a purple and white colored bed sheet.

As I evaluated all these people, I came to the conclusion that what made them weird was that they were vegan. I was the only normal person in the place. Then I realized that my judgmental attitude had prevented me from seeing the truth. I too was vegan and was just as weird as everyone else in the restaurant. Sadly, I do the exact same thing with sin.

I look at the sins of other people and think to myself, “What is wrong with them.” And by doing so, I minimize my own sin and make their sins disproportionately bigger. But in taking an honest, no holds barred look at my actions, words, and thoughts, I am forced to admit I am as big a sinner as anyone out there. I need as much grace as everyone else.

This is why Paul said, “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners–of whom I am the worst.” (1 Timothy 1:15)

So if you suffer from tomrobbinsitis and want to judge others, remember we are all fallen creatures in need of the same mercy that comes only through the One who died so we might live.

Prayer: Dear Gracious Heavenly God, let me see myself as I truly am. Help me realize my continual need for your forgiveness, mercy, and grace. Help me extend the same to others. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Just for the record, the food in the vegan restaurant was wonderful. The next time Shannon and I are in Austin, we are going back. Then I can have a meal with all my misfit vegan friends. I will fit right in.

I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.

Tom Robbins