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home : religion : inspirational reflections August 18, 2017

4/15/2017 12:01:00 AM
Raw Oysters With Texas Pete

Dr. Vince Hefner, Pastor
First Baptist Church, Cherryville, NC

The definition of a habit is an, “involuntary pattern of behavior acquired by frequent repetition; manner of conducting oneself.”

When I was a child, my family lived in Newport News, Virginia. I was between the ages of 4-and-5 years-old, but I can still remember a few things about the Commonwealth of Virginia. First, people from Virginia talk differently than people from the mountains of North Carolina. Secondly, people in coastal Virginia had different tastes in food than folks in my home state. Believe it or not, I can remember eating raw oysters with Texas Pete sauce while living in Newport News. I guess you can say that I got into the habit of eating raw oysters, even at the age of 5-years-old!

A few days ago, I had just finished eating at a restaurant and was walking back to my car. I passed another restaurant that had a sign out front of their business that read, “Oysters: 1 Dollar A Piece.”  Mind you, I had just eaten French toast, two eggs, and several slices of bacon, but the idea of eating a raw oyster was too tempting to pass up!

Even though it had been years since I had eaten a raw oyster, I was excited about the opportunity to reestablish an old habit. I promptly ordered three, and sat down to await my snack after my dinner. When my oysters arrived on a half shell, I asked for some Texas Pete sauce. The waiter asked, “What is Texas Pete?” I told him that Texas Pete was the sauce you put on the raw oyster before you ate it. I wasn’t sure if I could eat an oyster without Texas Pete, but now was the time to find out.

In case you didn’t know, there is an art to eating raw oysters. You don’t chew them, but you don’t let them slide down your throat without some type of inspection by your tongue and teeth. It happens so fast that I can’t really explain it, but all I know is that it happens.

Much to the chagrin of my wife, I successfully ate my raw oysters without the aid of any sauce, or saltine crackers! My wife had never gotten into the habit of eating raw oysters, which is her loss, and she didn’t want to start the habit! I guess if you never start a habit, then you never have to stop a habit!

What spiritual lesson can be learned from eating unusual foods? First, you are never too young to start any habit, if you have the right or wrong people to guide you. Secondly, it doesn’t take long to pick up on an old habit, just opportunity and one dollar for each oyster! Thirdly, if you are going to continue any habit, make sure it is a good one!

Daniel 6:10 tells us, “Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.”

Daniel had learned from an early age how to pray and give thanks to God. When things get difficult in life, you will rely upon the habits you had trusted in to get you through them. What habits do you rely on when life starts to get the better end of you? Are there any habits that do you more harm than good?

Today would be a great day to get into the habit of trusting Christ in time and eternity! Good habits are a blessing for the past, present, and the future. Bad habits will eventually bring bad memories for the past and bad feelings for the present! Choose your habits wisely! 

Remember, don’t give in to sin. Think about it!

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