I remember as a young boy reading a story about a prince that wanted to eat the most perfect food. Participants, one by one, tried to present their product as the best food. One presented him with an exquisite meat dish, another a fine desert; another said; “My ice-cream is surely the most perfect food.” But one by one, as the prince rejected them, he said, “There must be something else that is the best!
One day as he was walking around he saw a boy cutting wood in the forest. He asked the boy if he knew what was the most perfect food. “Yes!” the boy replied, “but you must first help me cut some wood”.
So the prince grabbed an ax and helped the boy cut wood. As he got tired and hungry he asked, “Can I have the most perfect food now?” “Not yet”, the boy replied, “we still need to cut more wood”. Finally after the prince was very tired and very hungry the boy said, “We can eat now.”
From a small paper bag, the boy took a piece of buttered bread and gave it to the prince, along with a cup of water to drink. The prince said, “This is by far the best food I have ever eaten.”
A couple of lessons can be gleaned from this story. One is that if there is no appetite, no food really tastes good. I have heard it said, “A stomach that is seldom empty despises common food”, and also “Seek an appetite by hard toil.” A second lesson that I can think of in a spiritual sense is that if our lives are so crowded by outside distractions, it is hard to see the beauty of God and his word.
In Job 23:12 the statement is made, “I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.” So we, like Job, need to consider God’s word and his promises more important than the food that it would take to keep us alive.
Just something to think about!