OVER EASY OR OVER TOUGH

by David Sisler

Both the waitress and the diner looked like they had weathered frequent desert storms. The diner wasn't exactly the last chance, but if it wasn't, you probably wouldn't have traveled any further down that road. Tucked into a lonely strip of road in northwestern Arizona, it was both a sorry sight and a sight for sore, road-weary eyes.

Looking for all the world like he was completely lost, a man walked in and took a seat on the one naugahyde stool which still had more naugahyde than plastic tape.

The towel with which the waitress wiped the bar was probably clean yesterday. Her apron was probably clean last week. With her left hand she offered a menu, while she automatically poured thick, black coffee with her right.

"Getchasomething," she said. The way she said it, it really was all one word.

"Just some eggs and toast," the man said. "I'd like the eggs over easy."

A few minutes later the waitress sat a plate in front of him. The edges of the eggs were a little crisp, but that was like saying Barry Bonds hits a few home runs. The yolks were cooked completely solid.

"Excuse me, ma'am," the traveler said, "but I ordered my eggs over easy."

She fixed him with a stare that said she had seen it all, most of it twice. "Mister," she sighed, "that's about as easy as things get around here!"

How easy are things supposed to be? Is life really over easy, or over tough? Do you think anyone will ever really tell you the truth about life and it's difficulties?

A few days after the exciting atmosphere of the Mount of Transfiguration, Jesus and His disciples were walking the dusty road from Samaria to Jerusalem. Luke said, "The time was coming near when Jesus would leave." If you knew nothing about Christianity, you would not be upset by that remark. If you have already read the end of the book, you know he was speaking of Jesus' impending crucifixion.

From the summit of acceptance, Jesus faced the depths of rejection, and all within a few days. Jesus' disciples went into a Samaritan town to arrange food and lodging for the evening when racial prejudice blocked their way. They were told since they were traveling to Jerusalem, they couldn't stay in their town. It was like the signs which once hung over drinking fountains and rest room doors in our own country the ones that said, "White Only," or "Colored Only."

Enraged, one of the disciples asked, "Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven and destroy those people?" Jesus just scolded them and headed for another town.

A few paces down the road a stranger came up to them and said, "Jesus, I will follow you any place you go."

Jesus said, "If you follow me, you are joining a Man who does not even have His own pillow. The birds have their own nests. I have no place that is uniquely mine to lay my head."

Then Jesus looked at another man and said, "Follow me."

"My father just died and I must bury him," he replied. "If you can't follow me and leave all else behind," Jesus said, "don't follow me at all."

Another man said, "I will follow you as soon as I say good-bye to my family."

"Anyone who begins to plow a field, but keeps looking back," Jesus said, "is of no use in the kingdom of God."

How difficult is life supposed to be? Usually pretty difficult. How difficult is it to follow Jesus? About as difficult as it gets. If you follow Jesus, you will know in advance that the eggs you ordered over easy, will come back over tough. But those eggs are served with love and grace.

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Copyright 2002 by David Sisler. All Rights Reserved.

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