The Chef & the Feast (Parable)
There was a local Chef who loved to prepare feasts for those in the town. Daily the Chef would rise and spend hours in preparation for the feast. There was great joy in the Chef’s eyes to share. Years had been spent learning to prepare food. Years where others were able to simply laugh and play, there was due dilligence to study and learn to prepare feasts for others.
The daily feasts were quite the spread. Each detail was thoughtful, with the guest in mind.
Some would come to the feast and enjoy! They were honored to sit with the Chef and enjoy the food and company. They would even place their dishes in the sink when done.
Some would eat and complain, “I don’t like roasted chicken and beef. Why didn’t you prepare what I like?” The Chef would endure their consistent complaining day after day because they were concerned primarily for themselves and not others. They did not recognize they were not paying for the feast. Their selfishness and complaining blocked them from enjoying what was prepared for them.
Some threw their food in the trash or their plate on the floor, because they did not like the Chef. They could not receive because of who was serving. They felt they would be better at cheffing or the Chef needed to be a certain way. They too missed out on enjoying a daily feast and dishonored the Chef.
Some refused to show up to the daily feasts. They were so busy. They could never make time to just rest and enjoy.
Some would come and try to cook for the Chef and they were never asked to cook. They misunderstood their role at the feast.
Some would push their way to the front of the table, “Me first,” they would shout. They did not care who was there, they had to be the first to eat. This disheartened the chef because the intent was a table of family, not a hierarchy of importance.
Sometimes the heart of the Chef would leap with joy because the people were kind and sharing with one another. The Chef loved when they enjoyed the feast. Sometimes the Chef would slip away to the kitchen and cry. The guests would fight over their opinions and beliefs. They would fight to be the first people getting a plate. They would smash plates on the floor, and complain.
There were days were the Chef spent hours cleaning up the messes made. Yet every day, the Chef would rise and prepare a feast. The Chef was never paid for the feast nor the prep time. It was a sacrifice and labor of love.
One day the Chef decided to move to another town and try again. Maybe in another place and with other faces there would be a different experience. The Chef soon realized no matter the town, the people were similar. The faces were different, yet the experiences were similar.
The Chef’s heart sank. Why bother preparing a feast? The Chef closed up the shop and moved into an isolated mountain top. The view was glorious. The Chef still had a passion to create feasts. Therefore, the Chef would rise early in the morning and prepare a mini feast. Dining in solo the Chef would give thanks. Thanks for provision. Thanks for health. Thanks for peace on top of the mountain.
One day there was a knock at the door. An unfamiliar gentleman stood at the door. He said, “I heard you were a Chef and I wondered if a hungry traveler could dine with you. I have traveled a long way and I am famished.” The Chef look puzzled at how the traveler could have found the mountain top home. It was so secluded. He obliged the traveler and let him inside.
The Chef prepared the meal of a lifetime. Oh what a feast. The traveler was in awe of the level of detail and thoughtfulness placed on each dish. The traveler smiled with delight and enjoyed every moment. The traveler asked questions of the Chef and listened. The Chef was amazed because no one had cared about the things on the Chef’s heart before. People came, ate, pleased themselves or complained and dishonored the Chef. The traveler asked, “What can I do for you? You have prepared such a glorious meal for me.” The Chef was startled and taken aback. “I don’t know. No one has ever asked what I desired. I am uncertain of what I want.” The traveler smiled and replied, “If you could have anything, what would it be?”
The Chef pondered for what seemed like an eternity. He finally came up with an idea. “I would love my own garden, to grow my own food and prepare meals from the garden! Yes, a garden. Yet I am on a mountain top and things will not grow here. I travel down the mountain to purchase what I need. I would love to have more travelers like you who understand the feast. The feast is not about the food. It is about fellowship, family, and intimacy. You see, sharing a meal is a time to get to know each other. Yes, those are my dreams.”
The traveler listened intently. “I believe I can help you! I am on my way to another town, yet I will return for you.”
The Chef was excited and they parted ways with a grin. The Chef thought, “Could someone be thinking of me? Oh, will I have my own garden and kind travelers to feast with me?!”
Days turned into weeks, that turned into months. The Chef’s heart sank into disappointment. “The traveler has forgotten me! Yet at least I had a dream.” The Chef continued making feasts for one, watching the sun rise and set in isolation. Though the Chef missed the bustle of the daily feasts in the villiage, the Chef did not miss the behavior of the patrons.
One day, out of the blue, when the dream of a garden had long died there was a knock at the door. The Chef arose thinking, “Who could this be?” The face on the other side was the warm faced traveler. He was smiling from ear to ear. “I told you I would return for you! Can you come with me?” The Chef rubbed the amazement from each eye and packed a bag to go.
The traveler was beyond excited to go on this journey with the Chef. They traveled far from the mountain home to a place where the royals lived. The Chef was flabbergasted at the sights and smells. Aroma of baked bread filled the town square. People were smiling and waving at the traveler. They were bowing and displaying such honor. This perplexed the Chef. Who was this traveler? He (the traveler) looked so ordinary and plain.
The traveler journeyed into the Land where the King lived. The Chef had never seen the King. He only heard stories of the wealthiest King in the world. His heart pounded.
They arrived upon a mansion. The traveler said, “Let’s explore!” The Chef stepped onto the land which was lush and beautiful. The traveler took him on a tour of the mansion and then he said, “I must show you the garden!” He pushed open the double doors and guided the Chef into a garden as far as the eye could see. “This Chef is your garden! Welcome home. I have tasted your food for years and I thank you for every feast. Thank you for all you prepared for me. I am so grateful for you and every feast you prepared for villager after villager. Thank you for feeding the widows and orphans of your town. They had nothing to repay you. I can repay you. Thank you for cleaning up the messes people made, and enduring their complaining and harsh criticisms with grace. Thank you for continuing to make a feast when your heart was breaking. Thank you! This is your garden. This is your mansion. This is your home. I have assigned gardeners to you and other chefs to help you. You will have family and fellowship here. No one will throw your food in the trash or break your plates on the floor. They will come with open hearts to recieve and honor who you are.”
The Chef stood amazed. “How can you say such a thing? How have you tasted my food many times? We just met.”
“Oh I know you Chef. I came every day in a different disguise to meet with you. I would sit at the last place, the last one to be served. I would take my plate to the kitchen and say thank you! I have eaten with you at every daily feast. Even the ones where you were so busy serving you did not recognize me.”
The Chef realized there was always at least one guest who stayed to put their plate away and say thank you. The Chef cried deeply and stood amazed. “How can you offer so much to me? Aren’t you simply a traveler?”
“I am the King! Welcome to my Kingdom. I own everything you see. And you are invited to be my friend, part of my family, and if you are willing-my Chef! We will have feasts and daily bread. I am a rewarder of those who seek to love. Thank you for loving me. I appeared as lowly, sometimes dirty. You treated me like royalty. When I appeared at your mountain top home, you invited me in and treated me like royalty. It’s my turn to repay the favor.”
The Chef remained in the land of King, enjoying daily feasts with people who smiled, laughed, and honored the feast. There was so much joy in the heart of the Chef. The daily feasts took on a new meaning. The King was always there and the King’s opinion of the feast mattered most. Despite how the Chef was treated by villagers in the past, the Chef was storing up treasures for the true cheffing assignment. The Chef was always cooking and preparing a feast for the King.
Moral of the Story: It’s all for the King (Jesus). He shows up daily and our actions are not for people primarily, they serve a great King. He rewards us for our love, sacrifices, and service. Some may trample your efforts under foot, complain, under value, dishonor, or treat with disdain. It does not matter too much. What matters is the King saying, “Well done! Well done! Enter into my Kingdom.”
Photos: Feast (Pinterest)