If you are a Mac&Cheese lover, you already agree with that statement. If not, let me explain. You have three basic kinds of Mac&Cheese. The easiest and fastest is the new EasyMac. It’s already in its own cup and you just pop it in the microwave. How great is that?! So you come home and you have a taste for mac&cheese, but maybe not a lot of time? Just throw the cup in the microwave and in a few minutes you are enjoying your food. Well, enjoying as much as you can.
I have to admit, the EasyMac is my least favorite. It will do in a pinch, if you just really want mac&cheese and that’s all you have. But, it doesn’t taste quite as good as when you cook it on the stove. So if you have a few more minutes, boil some water in a pot and make it from the box. Now, in the box kind there are two types – powder cheese or the pouch. We like to call the pouch melty cheese. Of course, the melty cheese is better than the powder cheese, but both are very good and are definitely better than the EasyMac! So, even though it takes a little while longer – about 20 minutes – you have some really good mac&cheese. Mmmm! And be sure to eat it as soon as you make it, while it’s nice and hot. You know what I’m talking about. Nothing beats that!
Well, actually, there is one more mac&cheese. This is the ultimate in mac&cheese. It will take longer, but it’s oh so worth it. I’m talking about baked mac&cheese, or as my family calls it – mac&cheese casserole. Oh my, there is nothing like it!!!! But this type takes a little preparation and more time. To make it the absolute best, you’ll need to grate your own cheddar cheese. Boil your noodles. Mix butter, eggs, evaporated milk, noodles, and lots of cheese in a baking dish. Then bake it for about 45 minutes. Oh, I know, I told you it would take a little more preparation and more time, but it really is worth it. This mac&cheese is full of cheese. It has a completely different taste. Once you have this, the other will never be quite as good. Sure, the other will do if you’re willing to settle, but if you want the ultimate mac&cheese you’ll have to go with the casserole.
You know, our walk/relationship with the Lord is just like this. Some of us don’t put the time in. We are just fine with that EasyMac – microwave – quick fix relationship. We show up at church and that’s about the only time we speak with God. Well, then and when we are in trouble and throw out a quick, “Help me Jesus.” Others, however, tend to put a little more time into the relationship. Maybe we pray every night before bed. We show up for church prayer when we can. We visit the prayer room before church when we have time. We’re trying. But … still others have invested in the ultimate relationship with our Lord. They don’t miss church unless it is completely unavoidable. They are always at church prayer and make a point to arrive early to service so they can get in the prayer room. But it doesn’t stop there. They spend time with the Lord daily in the privacy of their own home. No one is there to coordinate the prayer. No one is there to remind them to pray. They choose to regularly stop everything they are doing and spend time with the Lord. They invest themselves in the relationship. They’ve chosen not to settle for the EasyMac or even the box. They want the deep relationship that requires more time and more energy and certainly more discipline. But look at the benefit: communing with our Lord every day, growing closer to Him, loving Him as He deserves. Yes, some things are worth the extra effort. Just like mac&cheese, once you take that first bite of the baked mac&cheese you will taste the difference and the extra time and effort will have paid off. The same with the Lord, once we tap into that deep relationship the extra time and effort will certainly have been worth it. You’ll soon be saying, “more mac&cheese casserole for me, please”.