That’s How We Roll!

I’m what you would call a “foodie.”  I love to eat all kinds of food.  But my favorite is, hands down, Japanese food.  I lived in Japan when I was younger, so, of course, I love sushi!  And I love the European or Western-style bakeries and coffee shops in Japan.  I also love traditional Japanese lunchboxes.  I love the mixture of Japanese & Western food culture found in modern Japan.  Now that I’m back in the States, I often crave those things the most.

When I lived in Osaka, Japan, going out to eat “good” sushi was a special event.  Sure, you can eat cheap sushi most anywhere. But to eat the freshest sushi we’d go to this tiny little place down a dark alley that cost about $350 per person to get our fill.  Yup.  It was that expensive, but it was that good!  It simply melted in our mouths.   Even though I was often urged to eat the more expensive dishes, my favorites turned out to be some of the cheapest:  まぐろ (“mah-goo-loh” = raw tuna), タマゴ焼き (“tah-mah-goh-yaki” = fried, rolled omelet-style egg), キュリ巻き (“kyoo-lee mah-kee” = cucumber in a rice & crunchy seaweed roll) andうなぎ (“oo-nah-gee” = freshwater eel).

My local bakery and coffee shop in Sumiyoshi-ku was just as tiny, but the atmosphere was bright and cheery, and far less expensive than sushi!  On many Sunday mornings I could ride my bike and get カレーパン (“kah-leh- pahn” = curry-filled pastry), ウィーナーパン (“wee-nah-pahn” = like a “pig-in-a-blanet”), クリームパン (“koo-lee-moo pahn” =  a popular cream-filled pastry), or ロールパン (“loh-loo pahn” = a simple roll).  Even though I enjoyed the various meat-veggies-cheese-fruit-cream-filled pastries, sometimes all I wanted was a plain, simple little roll with a Cafe-au-Lait.

I also love Japanese お弁当 (“oh-ben-toh” = lunchbox)!  The yummy varieties of fish, meat, veggies, rice and pickles for each lunchbox are endless.  When I rode the 新幹線 (“Sheen-kahn-sen” = Bullet train) from Osaka to Tokyo to visit my sister, I’d enjoy all kinds of lunchboxes that each city or prefecture was famous for along the 3-hour trip.  Needless to say, by the time I reached my destination my wallet was empty and I was totally full – you could have rolled me off the train!

Long ago in Israel when Jesus fed more than 5,000 people who came to hear him speak with only 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish contributed by a boy who brought his simple lunchbox, Jesus multiplied that small offering into enough to satisfy everyone there, with plenty of left-overs, for free!  (See Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:30-44, Luke 9:10-17 & John 6:1-13.)  He didn’t just feed them physically, but He fed them spiritually with His teachings, too.  Sometimes we need refreshment spiritually as much or more than we do physically.

So whether it’s a Japanese sushi roll or a Western-style bread roll we’re physically craving, we can trust the Lord to feed us what we truly desire both physically and spiritually.  When we feast on His Word at His banquet table, He will provide us with what He knows we need most.  And it’s all for FREE!  No matter what we need, or crave, He is our ultimate provider.  As Christians, that’s how we roll!  😉

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