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10 Minutes Peace

    by Susan McGrath

Date Posted: June 9, 2007

There's nothing quite like the atmosphere of a festive Mexican restaurant and a deliciously spicy meal. Our little burg can boast an authentic Mexican spot with the crispiest fried tortilla chips (even the guilt won't make you stop eating them) and freshly-made salsa accented with fresh cilantro. I could make a meal of it!

But there are several entrees which vie for my attention and I must save room for one of them. Although I currently favor dishes with a white sauce, I recently enjoyed a tamale-enchilada combo drenched in a tomato-based topping. I didn't even have enough appetite left to consider the fried ice cream for dessert. (Bad news for my taste buds, good news for my thighs!)

Eating, in many cultures, represents a way of sharing our lives with each other, of celebrating, comforting, or marking important occasions. Usually a meal with family or friends is something to look forward to and rejoice in. Sharing food and banter, it's just an easy way to fellowship.

Sometimes I forget how easy it should be to fellowship with other Christians - especially moms who are experiencing the same dramas and traumas that I go through weekly. Even if we can't get together for a meal, we can drop each other an email or make an encouraging phone call - or just stop and listen to each other. Whether it's two huddled quietly over tea or an entire rowdy bunch (and nothing is louder than a group of women on a weekend retreat sans kids and husbands), God will be in it if we invite Him.

I've spent many memorable hours fellowshipping with other Christian women over a meal or late-night snack. Although much of this fellowship has taken place after dark, scripture associates fellowship with light. In 1 John 1:6-7 we are told, "If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin."

Early Christians certainly did not limit their fellowship to meals. Acts 2:42 says, "They devoted themselves to the apostles' teachings, and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer." It sounds like they grasped every opportunity to build each other up and grow in Christ.

I know I have often limited my fellowship experiences to planned events. Recently, a friend of mine has taught me how to have easy, spontaneous fellowship and not to worry about my house being clean or the kids being loud in the background. We can confide, encourage and just laugh and the surroundings don't matter. Obviously it would be fun to move the session to the spa or a Mexican restaurant, but we are grabbing it when time meets opportunity and growing in our friendship and our relationship with Christ through these "fiestas".

Even if you don't have time to meet a friend for chips and salsa this week, have a fiesta. Open a bag of chips on each end of the phone and crunch while you chat.

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Biography Information:
Susan McGrath is:

a recovering journalist trying to encourage others and glorify God through writing;

living the small-town life with husband Tim and sons Lincoln, 12, and Sawyer, 6;

completing a few put-off writing projects while using chocolate for therapy.
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