My new job as a hometown reporter has taught me that I have “inside” information on community events. One particular event caught my eye for several weeks: The Ferrell Meador Apple Festival. It seems this was the 9th year for the festival. I’ve lived in this town for all of those 9 years (and more), yet I’ve never attended or remembered hearing about it. Now that I had, I wanted to go. For weeks, I had visions of dunking for apples, seeing apples peeled, tasting caramel apples, drinking apple cider…you get the idea.
A funny thing happened at the Apple Festival….
Yes, I knew, Kelly (the other reporter) was ‘covering’ it, but I had a hankering for a hunk of fried apple pie, apple cobbler, apple cider…basically anything with sugar and an apple. So I convinced my husband to go with me in search of some goodies.
My faithful hubby and I arrived at the festival and found a few craft booths (those were fine, but not what I was after) and a GIGANTIC line out past the road for ….for what?? I couldn’t tell, but being the novice reporter that I am, I set out to investigate.
I surveyed the line first. What could be so interesting that people 70 years old + were standing in the cool breeze waiting for?? It had to be for FOOD! Yes, and that was the ONLY food that I saw that was being served. Since I didn’t want to assume anything (and I must get used to fact-finding), I got brave and ASKED someone. Their answer, “Yes, they WERE waiting in line for food.”
WHAT?!?!? There was only ONE food line? And you had to get pinto beans and corn bread in order to get the good stuff?? Yuck.
I was severely disappointed…and hungry. After talking it over with the hubby we both decided it was not worth the wait (in other words…I was TOO hungry to stand in that line).
So, we were off in search of some food, but I really wanted something with an apple in it (and sugar). We spent the next few hours (after getting some regular food) chasing after the elusive fried apple pie. Now, if you’re not from the South and you’ve not had the ultimate pleasure of sinking your teeth into a homemade, crispy buttery crust covering a warm cinnamon apple filling, then you do not know what you’re missing. I, however, DO know what I’m missing and I wanted one badly. We ended up going to a Mennonite-owned produce market that sells homemade fried pies.
As we were driving there, my worst fear was that we would arrive and find all the pies gone. Finally, after driving for hours (actually 30 minutes), we pulled up to the open air market. Flies buzzed freely amidst the vegetables and fruits laying for sale. I made a beeline for the fried pies, wrapped neatly in cellophane and labeled with a pretty nice label maker. What to my hungry eyes did appear?? A sign that read “Fried Pie Saturday Afternoon Special…buy 8, get 2 free” Why, yes, I DO think I’ll take 10. I mean, we DID drive all the way out here.
No sooner had I gotten back into the vehicle than the wrapping was pulled away and the first fried apple pie was in my mouth. MMMMmmmmm mmmmmm mmmmm. It was wonderfully delicious, but not yet satisfying. The second pie, however, finally did satisfy my sweet apple craving. (I would have included a picture of these delectable treats, but I ate them all too quickly).
This little episode got me to thinking about desire. My heart’s desire. We hear that phrase sometimes when speaking of someone or something we love and yearn for. It’s sometimes thrown around in church circles too.
What is my heart’s desire? For a fried apple pie, I was willing to spend time and money to search it out. Am I willing to do the same for God? How often have I dropped everything because I was hungry for Him and nothing else would satisfy? I can tell you honestly…not often enough. I think this is what Peter was trying to get people to understand when he wrote “ Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness.” (I Peter 2:2-3 NLT) When a baby is hungry, nothing else will satisfy him except real food. No toy, no pacifier, no distraction will quiet him for long.
Let me crave and desire the pure spiritual milk that truly nourishes the soul.